Police: Man Charged With Fatal Berwyn Crash Kept Passenger From Calling For Help

Jim Gudas
March 08, 2018 - 12:52 pm

Berwyn police

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Berwyn police have released more information about a deadly head-on crash earlier this week. 

A man charged with DUI and reckless homicide for a fatal crash early Tuesday in west suburban Berwyn allegedly took away his passenger’s phone to prevent her from calling for help.

Authorities were called about the crash at 2:52 a.m. in the 6300 block of Ogden Avenue, according to a statement from Berwyn police. Officers arrived to find a black Pontiac and a white Nissan, both with “an extreme amount of damage.”

Berwyn Police Chief Michael Cimaglia said 27-year-old Jose Zamago-Gaugin was drunk and driving the Nissan over 85 miles per hour on Tuesday morning in the 6300 block of Ogden Avenue when his vehicle crossed over the center line and slammed into the Pontiac driven by Mayra Rivera. His blood alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit, police said. 

"The victim was a 25-year-old single mother. She was pronounced deceased on the scene," he said.

Cimaglia said a 20-year-old woman who was a passenger in the Nissan had asked Zamago-Gaugin to stop driving so fast and asked to get out of the car for her own safety, police said. She texted people asking for help before he took her phone and threw it to the floor of the car to prevent her from making a call.

An autopsy found Tuesday that Rivera died of multiple injuries from the crash and her death was ruled an accident.

Gaucin-Zamago was taken into custody after the crash and charged with two counts of aggravated driving under the influence, one count of reckless homicide and one count of unlawful restraint, police said.

He was also issued multiple traffic citations and police said more felony charges could be filed against him in the future.

Gaucin-Zamago, who lived in the Southwest Side Little Village neighborhood, was ordered held without bail and remained hospitalized Friday, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. His next court date was scheduled for Monday in Maywood.

(Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this copy. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)