Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Bond Set at $500,000 for Woman Accused of Aggravated DUI in Fatal Crash
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin and Elmhurst Chief of Police Michael Ruth announced today that bond has been set for a Cicero woman accused of crashing her car in a construction zone in a residential area causing the death of her fiancée, thirty-three-year-old Andrew Lewis. Alibet Mendoza, 33 (d.o.b. 7/7/1988) of the 1500 block of S. Austin, Cicero, appeared in Bond Court this morning where Judge Margaret O’Connell set bond at $500,000 with 10% to apply. Mendoza is charged with four counts of Aggravated DUI – Accident Causing Death (Class 2 Felony), one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance (Class 4 Felony) and several Misdemeanor traffic offenses.
On August 21, 2021, at approximately 1:53 a.m., Elmhurst police officers were dispatched to a single vehicle crash in the area of Van Auken and North End. Upon arrival officers observed a damaged 2016 Chevrolet Traverse that had struck a tree. The front seat passenger, later identified as Lewis, was found in the vehicle unconscious and transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased as a result of injuries he sustained in the crash. It is alleged that Mendoza was driving the vehicle when she crashed into a gravel pit, struck a dumpster and then rolled down the gravel pit ultimately striking the tree where the vehicle was found. It is further alleged that Mendoza’s BAC at the time of the crash was .176 and that Mendoza had illegal narcotics in her system including benzodiazepines, cocaine, cannabis and opiates.
“Like all alleged DUI cases, the case against Ms. Mendoza was 100% avoidable,” Berlin said. “As I have said many times before, if you have been drinking or for any other reason are not able to safely operate a motor vehicle, do not drive. It is a very simple idea and that is what makes cases such as this so frustrating. The tragic death of Andrew Lewis and so many other DUI victims did not have to happen. With a variety of ride-sharing services available, people have to think of the potential consequences of getting behind the wheel and not think they are alright to drive. I would like to thank the Elmhurst Police Department for their efforts in this case. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorney Nicole Wilkes-English for her work in securing a strong prosecution against this defendant.”
Mendoza’s next court appearance is scheduled for September 20, 2021, for arraignment in front of Judge O’Connell.
Members of the public are reminded that these complaints contain only charges and are not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.