Dolton man held in fatal Bishop Ford crash
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporteremail@example.com April 2, 2013 2:24PM
Updated: April 2, 2013 2:26PM
A Dolton man was ordered held in lieu of $500,000 bail Tuesday for allegedly driving drunk and causing a deadly crash on the Bishop Ford Expressway over the weekend.
Travis Berry was seen trying to leave the scene of the accident by walking up at exit ramp near 111th Street before an Illinois Department of Transportation worker brought him back to the scene, assistant Cook County state’s attorney Melissa Samp said.
Berry left behind his own car and a Pontiac Grand Am so damaged that all rescue workers could see in the debris was the hand of the dead victim, Jonell Barlow, of Griffith, Ind., Samp said.
But assistant public defender Marijane Placek said Berry, 24, was trying looking for help when he walked away and that Berry voluntarily returned to the wreck with the IDOT worker.
Before the accident, Berry was speeding in his 1994 blue Lincoln Town Car and erratically changing lanes as he headed southbound on the highway, authorities said.
He ended up slamming his car into the back of Barlow’s gold Grand Am, causing both cars to spin out of control, Samp said.
Barlow, 27, and his 22-year-old girlfriend, from Hazel Crest, were on their way home at the time of the wreck.
Berry, who has a history of driving on a suspended license, came up to the victim’s car and admitted to another motorist who was at the scene that he had been driving the Lincoln, which sustained only front-end damage, Samp said.
That witness and another person allegedly noticed a strong odor of alcohol emitting from Berry, as well as his slurred speech and red eyes as he tried walking away.
Barlow died at the scene.
His girlfriend was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where she is being treated for blunt trauma to the head, a bruised lung and bleeding in the brain, Samp said.
Berry, a day laborer, was taken to Roseland Hospital where a blood draw revealed his blood-alcohol level allegedly registered at .188 — more than twice the state’s legal .08 limit.
He also tested positive for THC, Samp said.