A Cicero woman convicted on being drunk behind the wheel of an SUV that flipped over and killed a passenger in 2011 in Riverside won’t be spending any more time in jail.
At a hearing at the Maybrook courthouse in Maywood on Feb. 5, Magali Padilla, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated DUI causing death.
In exchange for the guilty plea, Judge Paula Daleo sentenced Padilla, who had no prior criminal record, to two years’ probation, 12 days’ time already served and about $2,500 in fines and court costs.
She’ll also have to participate in a victim impact panel, which according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is a “non-confrontational presentation given by victims of DUI crashes who speak about the impact the DUI crash has had on their lives. The panel presents an often unheard perspective to DUI offenders.”
Padilla was 24 years old at the time of the fatal rollover crash, which happened on Delaplaine Road, just west of Longcommon Road, on Dec. 7, 2011 at about 11:45 p.m.
Padilla and the victim, 26-year-old Cesar Ramirez, of Woodridge, had been with co-workers at Lalo’s Restaurant on Harlem Avenue in Berwyn earlier that night. While Padilla initially told investigators that Ramirez had been behind the wheel at the time of the crash, the police investigation proved otherwise.
Surveillance video from the restaurant, a critical piece of evidence, showed Padilla getting behind the wheel of the Mercury Mountaineer, which was registered to Padilla’s family, at 11:40 p.m. Three minutes later, Padilla lost control of the SUV as she turned from southbound Longcommon Road onto westbound Delaplaine Road.
The vehicle hit the curb and rolled over at least twice, throwing both Padilla and Ramirez from the SUV, which came to rest on the front lawn of a Delaplaine Road home. Padilla suffered minor injuries. Ramirez was pronounced dead at Loyola University Medical Center, where he was transported by paramedics.
Police Chief Thomas Weitzel praised the detective who led the investigation, Deputy Chief David Krull.
“I am extraordinarily proud of the work done by Deputy Chief Krull when he served as detective in 2011,” Weitzel said. “His methodical, step-by-step investigation led to the conviction and plea of guilty [on Feb. 5].”