Man held on $200,000 bail in fatal Nov. crash
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN AND FRANK MAIN Staff Reporters January 23, 2013 1:02PM
Alexander Villa / Chicago Police
Updated: February 25, 2013 12:40PM
The mom of a man killed in a Northwest Side car accident said Wednesday she’s glad the other driver is facing a felony charge of leaving the scene without calling the cops.
Alexander Villa, 24, is being held on $200,000 bond in the Nov. 24 wreck that killed Ivan Miranda, 24. Miranda’s brother, Jovani, was injured in the 5:30 a.m. accident in the 3500 block of West Division.
“I’m very happy,” said the victims’ mother, Elizabeth Rodriguez. “This will not bring my son back but at least we can start healing.”
Villa was caught on a grocery surveillance camera limping and then jogging from the crash, even though his passenger suffered a broken back, assistant Cook County state’s attorney Melissa Samp said at a bond hearing Wednesday.
Villa ran a red light on Central Park and “T-boned” his Hyundai Tucson into Ivan Miranda’s Saab before both cars slammed into a fence near a CVS store. Police believe Villa was being chased by a rival gang member following a nightclub argument.
Minutes before, Ivan Miranda got off work after an overnight shift at a Target store and picked up his brother. Jovanni Miranda was hoping to take the Saab to his morning shift at Home Depot.
It took emergency workers 10 minutes to extricate Ivan Miranda from his car. He died at Stroger Hospital from severe head trauma. Jovanni Miranda, 21, suffered injuries to his head, ribs, legs and arms. His mom said he is undergoing physical therapy and still works at the Home Depot.
Ivan Miranda and his mom both worked at the Target store on Elston Avenue on the North Side. Rodriguez is still a barista in the store’s Starbucks.
“I can see him,” she said through tears. She said she misses him walking by the coffee spot and asking for his favorite — a large white mocha with no whipped cream.
She said the holidays were hard without the son that always took care of her and gave her big, wet kisses on the cheek.
“Just him asking me ‘How are you?’” she said. “Saying “I love you” … all those things that you don’t realize and appreciate.”
Meanwhile, Ivan Miranda’s twin brother, Gabriel has been suffering. He was at the cemetery visiting his brother’s grave just before the family learned Villa had turned himself in.
Villa’s DNA matched samples taken from an airbag in the Hyundai and a warrant was issued for his arrest, prosecutors said.
Villa, of the 2900 block of West Altgeld, turned himself in to police Tuesday, his lawyer Michael Clancy said. Villa, who has two kids and a third on the way, has a pending felony marijuana case. He also has a pending misdemeanor for reckless conduct.
Villa attends Wilbur Wright College and works at the Motorola factory in Schaumburg. He has one tattoo that says “Jesus” on his neck and another one on his right hand that says, “Money over everything.”
Rodriguez said her son and Villa were familiar with each other from the neighborhood.
“I do feel sorry for his family. No matter what, good or bad, it’s your child,” she said. “At least they can go see him in jail. I have to go to the cemetery and see my boy.”
Contributing: Becky Schlikerman