Ex-Lynwood village clerk gets 6 years for fatal DUI
January 27, 2014 3:44PM
Roel N. Valle / photo from state Dept. of Corrections
Updated: March 3, 2014 1:16PM
Lynwood’s former village clerk has been sentenced to six years in prison for causing a wrong-way fatal crash on Route 394 in 2011, authorities said.
Roel N. Valle, 64, pleaded guilty Jan. 21 to aggravated DUI, according to Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokesman Stephen Campbell.
Valle was the Lynwood village clerk when he was charged in the March 2011 crash that killed 32-year-old Melikah Little. Valle was charged with reckless homicide while operating a vehicle, aggravated DUI causing death and aggravated DUI causing great bodily harm, the state’s attorney’s office said.
About 1:15 a.m. on Feb. 4, 2011, Valle was driving north in the southbound lanes of Route 394 just south of the Bishop Ford Freeway near Sauk Village, Illinois State Police said at the time. He was driving a 2008 Ford Taurus owned by the village of Lynwood when it struck a 2000 Chrysler Cirrus head-on and the impact caused the Chrysler to overturn in the center median, police said.
Little, of Chicago, a passenger in the Chrysler, was killed instantly, while the driver, Angelina Jones, 27, of Chicago, was critically injured, police said.
Valle’s vehicle then struck a 1998 Ford Taurus head-on. That car was driven by Little’s husband, Manuel L. Little, 37, who was driving directly behind his wife, police said. Manuel Little was treated at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Hammond, Ind., while Valle initially was taken in critical condition to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
Witnesses had reported Valle’s vehicle traveling the wrong way at Route 394 and U.S. 30, about two miles from the crash scene. Alcohol and speed were contributing causes in the crash, police said.
Valle, of the 3000 block of 201st Place, is being held at the Stateville Correctional Center’s Northern Reception Center, awaiting placement by the Illinois Department of Corrections, records show.
Jones also was charged with misdemeanor DUI and several traffic violations, police said.
Manuel Little later filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking $1 million from Valle and the village of Lynwood.
Sun-Times Media Wire