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Crime & Courts

Alleged drunk driver injures his children in Elmhurst 5-car crash

Rulin Palacios-Velez, 35, of the 1000 block of West Irving Park Road, Bensenville, was charged Aug. 21 with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of a controlled substance, endangering the life of a child, driving while license suspended, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to render aid after an accident at Route 83 and North Avenue in Elmhurst.
Rulin Palacios-Velez, 35, of the 1000 block of West Irving Park Road, Bensenville, was charged Aug. 21 with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of a controlled substance, endangering the life of a child, driving while license suspended, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to render aid after an accident at Route 83 and North Avenue in Elmhurst.

ELMHURST – A Bensenville man's three children were taken by ambulance to Elmhurst Hospital after the man reportedly caused a hit-and-run, multiple-vehicle crash Aug. 21 at Route 83 and North Avenue while allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.

Rulin Palacios-Velez, 35, of the 1000 block of West Irving Park Road, was arrested at 9:10 p.m. Aug. 21 by Elmhurst police and later charged with aggravated DUI of alcohol, possession of a controlled substance, endangering the life of a child, driving while license suspended, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to render aid after allegedly causing a five-car collision at 8:22 p.m., after which he allegedly fled westbound on North Avenue, Elmhurst Deputy Police Chief Mike McLean said.

A Villa Park officer spotted the car Palacios-Velez reportedly was driving on North Avenue shortly after the crash and stopped it at North and Ardmore avenues in Villa Park, and then Elmhurst officers responded and conducted an investigation into whether Palacios-Velez was driving drunk, McLean said.

Palacios-Velez had his three children aged 8, 9 and 12 in the back seats of his vehicle at the time of the incident, he said. He allegedly also was in possession of a baggie of cocaine, McLean said.

Two of Palacios-Velez's children had "visible, non-life-threatening injuries," he said. The third child, who did not appear to have injuries, was taken by ambulance, along with the other two children, so the third could be evaluated by a medical professional, McLean said.

Palacios-Velez was charged with aggravated DUI of alcohol because his driver's license reportedly was suspended at the time because of a prior DUI conviction and because the traffic crash Aug. 21 led to the injuries of a child, he said.

"This traffic crash and the subsequent injuries to those involved are a sad example of the dangerous consequences of repeat drunken driving," McLean said in an email.

Palacios-Velez subsequently was transported to the DuPage County Jail, according to Elmhurst Police Department records.

He is scheduled for arraignment Sept. 12 in courtroom 4010 in front of Judge Robert Miller, DuPage County State's Attorney's Office spokesman Paul Darrah said. His bond has been set at $50,000 with 10 percent to apply.

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