Model Was Binge Drinking Before Accident: Report

Irma Sabanovic's body and car were pulled from North Branch of the Chicago River last weekend

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    NEWSLETTERS

    May 17, 2011: Family, friends search for Irma Sabanovic, who disappeared while en route to a nightclub. (Published Saturday, May 21, 2011)

    A North Side woman found drowned inside her car in the Chicago River was allegedly seen having nearly 20 drinks before she disappeared, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Saturday. 

    The allegation comes from an unnamed city source just days after Irma Sabanovic's father, Fehim Sabanovic, filed a wrongful death suit blaming the city for his daughter's death.

    Irma Sabanovic, 25, left Chuckie's Bar in Roger's Park on May 12 and headed to the Exit nightclub near West North and North Elston Avenues.  The last contact anyone apparently had with her was at about 2 a.m., when she sent a text message to a friend telling him that she was lost at North Milwaukee Avenue and West Erie Street, authorities said. 

    Video allegedly exists showing Irma Sabanovic drinking several beers and shots of liquor over a short period of time, the Sun-Times reported, citing their source. Another video purportedly shows her car speeding down the road, striking trees and going into the river.

    Her car was pulled from the North Branch of the Chicago River May 21 where Blackhawk Street dead-ends into the river.    
     
    In his suit, Fehim Sabanovic claimed the city failed to inspect the area where his daughter entered the water and let traffic control devices fall into disrepair. He also alleges the city failed to warn his daughter of the dangerous condition of the land, roadways, barricades, curbs and sidewalks.

    The city denies Fehim Sabanovic's claim. The street was well-lit with a "no outlet" sign displayed at the entrance and an 8-inch curb at the end of the street, it said in a statement.

    Ian R. Alexander, the attorney representing the Sabanovics, said he spoke with the bartenders at Chuckie's and was told Sabanovic didn't drink as much alcohol as the city source claims. 

    Autopsy results indicating what Sabanovic's blood-alcohol concentration was when she died are not yet available. 

    Irma Sabanovic's blue Ford Focus was pulled near Elston Avenue and Blackhawk Street.