Man Charged in Deadly Berwyn Crash Kept Passenger From Calling For Help: Police

Police said the passenger in Jose Zamago-Gaugin's car asked him "to stop driving so recklessly and fast" and was texting for help before the crash

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.”

Investigators learned that 27-year-old Jose Zamago-Gaugin was driving the Nissan at more than 85 mph at the time of the crash with a blood alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit, police said. The Nissan crossed the centerline and hit the Pontiac head-on.

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.

The driver of the Pontiac, 25-year-old Mayra Rivera of Plainfield, was pronounced dead at the scene, police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said. An autopsy Tuesday found she died of multiple injuries from the crash and her death was ruled an accident.

Zamago-Gaugin 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.

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