Ten days after a crash killed a mother of four, a Lynwood village official has been charged with on count of reckless homicide and one count of aggravated DUI involving death.
Roel N. Valle, 64, the Lynwood Clerk, was driving drunk when he crashed a village vehicle when he crashed into two cars on Illinois 394 on Feb.4, according to Illinois State Trooper Clare Pfotenhauer.
Pfotenhauer says an investigation shows Valle was traveling the wrong way on I-394 when he crashed head on into a car just south of the I-94 interchange. That car overturned and Valle's car then struck a second car.
Melikah Little, 32, of Chicago was a passenger in the first car and was killed instantly. The driver, Angelina Jones, 27, of Chicago, was critically injured and was charged with DUI later that day.
The driver of the second car hit was Little's husband, Manuel, 37. He was following directly behind his wife and Jones when the accident occurred at 1:15 a.m.
Manuel Little criticized investigators for not charging Valle immediately and he publicly alleged a cover-up. He also filed suit against the Village of Lynwood.
Pfotenhauer says charges weren't brought sooner because investigators wanted to talk to all witnesses, including Valle, who himself was seriously injured. She said Valle remains hospitalized. She was not sure of Jones' condition or whether she is still in the hospital.
A woman who answered the phone at Valle's Lynwood office said this afternoon as far as she knows, Valle is still employed as village clerk. She said the Mayor was not available to comment on this latest development.
In an earlier statement, Mayor Eugene Williams expressed sympathy to the Little family but declined comment on the lawsuit or Valle's future with the village.
Melikah Little was buried last week. A fund is established for her four children, ages 11 and under. It's the Little Family Memorial Fund, c/o U.S. Bank, 209 S. LaSalle St., Chicago., IL 60604.