By Jason Meisner
12:33 PM PDT, August 11, 2011
A 35-year-old man was speeding and had marijuana in his system when his sports car crashed into a carload of people on the Northwest Side earlier this week, killing a mother and her teenage son and seriously injuring three children, prosecutors said today in court.
Richard Strum, of the 5400 block of North Mobile Avenue, is charged with five felony counts of aggravated DUI –- two of them for an accident causing death. He also has been ticketed with driving on a suspended license, failure to reduce speed and operating a vehicle without insurance, according to court records.
Strum, who was injured in the wreck, remains at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in stable condition, so he did not appear today in court. Criminal Courts Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. set bond at $2 million.
The crash occurred about at 8 a.m. Tuesday at Austin and Sunnyside Avenues in the Jefferson Park neighborhood.
Strum was speeding south on Austin in his 1998 Ford Mustang with his girlfriend in the passenger seat when he collided with a Honda Civic that had pulled into the intersection after stopping at a stop sign on Sunnyside, said Assistant State’s Attorney Morgan Creppel.
A urine test taken at the hospital tested positive for cannabis “to a degree that rendered (Strum) incapable of safely driving,” according to the charges.
The driver of the Honda, Claudia Delia, 35, and her son Bryan, 16, were killed. Three boys in the back seat of Delia's car were injured: her son Hauk Marvin, 3, suffered a broken leg; her stepson, Zack Marvin, 15, suffered head trauma; and a friend of the boys, Chris Diaz, 16, was seriously injured.
Records show Strum was ticketed in a 2000 accident for driving without a valid license and without insurance -- resulting in a $9,900 judgment against him. Because of his failure to pay the judgment, a hold was placed on his license, according to the secretary of state's office. His license expired in 2003 and was not renewed because of the hold.
But he continued to drive and get tickets. Most recently, he was cited on June 28 by Illinois State Police for driving without a license and was free on $1,500 bail at the time of Tuesday's fatal crash.
Delia was headed to the home of another relative, where they were to leave on a trip to the Wisconsin Dells.
Delia's fiancé, Steve Marvin, said she worked as a hairstylist and was about to return to Mario Tricoci hairdressing school for a six-month educator's course, so she could teach others the trade.
"She was the love of my life," Marvin said. "It's not easy going home, knowing that she's not going to be there."
Bryan Delia was about to start his junior year at Taft High School, where he was going to be captain of the hip-hop team. "His favorite thing was to dance," said his brother Giovanny.
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