Updated 12/13/2011 3:20 p.m.
A 26-year-old Woodridge man was killed Dec. 7 in Riverside when the SUV he was riding in hit a curb and flipped over at least twice, throwing him from the vehicle.
Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said Cesar Ramirez suffered massive injuries in the single-vehicle crash, which occurred about 11:40 p.m. in the 200 block of North Delaplaine Road. He was pronounced dead at Loyola University Medical Center.
A 23-year-old Cicero woman, who was also riding in the car at the time of the crash, suffered only minor injuries, police said. When emergency personnel arrived at the scene, they saw a heavily damaged silver Mercury Mountaineer on the front lawn of a home and found a woman cradling Ramirez in her arms just a few feet from the vehicle, “begging him to survive,” said Weitzel.
She was treated for her injuries and released from the hospital, said Weitzel, who added that no independent witnesses to the crash have come forward at this time. The first 911 call to police came from a resident of Selborne Road, who reported hearing what sounded like an “explosion,” Weitzel said.
Police assume Ramirez was not wearing a seatbelt since he was ejected from the SUV, which apparently rolled over him as it tumbled out of control.
Riverside police enlisted the help of the Illinois State Police accident reconstruction unit. While Weitzel described the investigation as “very preliminary,” the vehicle was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed and, from tire tracks left on the street, appears to have been heading westbound from Longcommon Road when the driver lost control and veered off the roadway. Weitzel said the vehicle flipped over at least two times before coming to a rest upright and facing east on the front lawn of the home.
Weitzel said police are not certain who was driving the SUV. The woman reportedly indicated to police that Ramirez was driving. The vehicle is registered to the woman’s family, Weitzel said.
Both Ramirez and the woman reportedly work at a McDonald’s restaurant in Lombard, and the woman told police she and Ramirez were at Lalo’s restaurant, 3011 Harlem Ave. in Berwyn, prior to the crash. Police reported a strong odor of alcohol coming from both Ramirez and the woman at the scene.
Police have issued no citations although the investigation continues, Weitzel said. Riverside police re-interviewed the woman on Friday but have not been able to obtain much more information.
“She’s still fuzzy on the accident,” Weitzel said. “She seems not to remember a lot.”
Weitzel said police have obtained video surveillance footage from Lalo’s restaurant, which they hope might shed some light on the case. They are also attempting to retrieve the “black box” from the SUV, which would indicate such information as the vehicle’s speed at the time of the crash.