DUI charges filed in fatal hit-and-run outside Oak Lawn school

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CHICAGO RIDGE, Ill. — An Oak Lawn man has been charged with DUI in the fatal hit-and-run that killed a 15-year-old girl outside her school Monday.

Freshman Amira Nairat, 15, was walking to Richards High School about 7:45 a.m. Monday when she was fatally struck by a Volkswagen Beetle a block away from the Oak Lawn campus.

The incident was captured on squad car camera. Chicago Ridge police had just begun to pursue the Beetle, which was involved in multiple crashes in Oak Lawn and Chicago Ridge within a 20-minute span Monday morning.

Edward Cruz, 25, is now charged with DUI, aggravated DUI causing death and being responsible for a hit-and-run involving death.

He was also cited for driving without insurance, failing to provide information about a crash, failing to exercise due caution to pedestrians, failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident and improper lane usage.

According to police, Cruz was arrested the night before the fatal crash for reaching behind a bar counter in Merrionette Park, Ill., to drink from bottles of alcohol.

He posted bond and was released at 11:50 p.m. Sunday.

Less than eight hours later, from 7:25 a.m. to 7:45 a.m., Cruz caused several collisions, police said. In additional to the fatal crash, he is accused of rear-ending a car stopped in traffic and side-swiping another vehicle.

When Cruz was arrested several blocks away from the hit-and-run scene, police said, he refused to comply with field sobriety tests. A blood sample was taken and will be tested.

Amira suffered severe injuries to the upper body and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where she later died, according to police.

Cruz, of the 4000 block of West 100th Street in Oak Lawn, was previously charged with driving while intoxicated in a separate incident. At the time of Monday’s hit-and-run, police said, he was driving with a valid license that was pending suspension.

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