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Prosecutors: Driver used drugs before deadly Naperville crash

Updated: July 13, 2012 12:05AM

A driver charged in a deadly Naperville road-rage crash had used cocaine, as well as marijuana, before the June 13 collision, DuPage County prosecutors said.

Medical tests turned up evidence of cocaine use by 31-year-old Michael Moreno, prompting prosecutors this week to file an additional charge of aggravated DUI against the Plainfield man.

Moreno already had been charged with aggravated DUI after earlier hospital tests indicated he had marijuana in his system when he allegedly struck and killed motorcyclist Gerald Puglise while chasing another car.

Follow-up tests showed Moreno also had used cocaine before the 5 p.m. crash at Ogden Avenue and River Road in Naperville, said Paul Darrah, a spokesman for the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.

Moreno allegedly cut off a car driven by a 16-year-old girl, then argued with two passengers in her car after she briefly stopped alongside the road, prosecutors have said. When she drove off, Moreno allegedly chased her for several blocks before striking the 63-year-old Puglise, who had no involvement in the initial confrontation, authorities have said.

Moreno’s attorney contended he had been cut off by the teen, then threatened by her passengers during their roadside altercation. He was following the teen’s car to snap a photo of her license plate for police when the crash occurred, said defense attorney Paul DeLuca, who declined to comment on the new charge.

If convicted, Moreno faces up to 14 years in prison. He remains jailed on $500,000 bail.

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