A trial by judge began Tuesday for a Rockford man accused of killing his 29-year-girlfriend in a drunken-driving crash last year.
Jose Loredo is charged with aggravated driving under the influence in connection with the Feb. 24, 2018, death of his girlfriend, Ilian Gonzalez.
Gonzalez was a passenger in the Hyundai Velostar that Loredo was traveling west on Kishwaukee Valley Road about 7:25 p.m. when it ran off the road at South McKinstry Road and hit a tree, police said at the time.
When police arrived at the scene of the crash, the vehicle’s engine was located about 20 feet away from Loredo’s Hyundai, McHenry County sheriff’s deputy Jillian Tutt said in court Tuesday.
Loredo was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for injuries that were not life-threatening. Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the scene.
As police continued their investigation at the hospital, Loredo appeared visibly distraught and repeatedly asked about Gonzalez’s condition, McHenry County sheriff’s deputy Kevin Byrnes said.
“I knew at that time she was deceased, but I wasn’t ready to come forth with that information,” Byrnes said.
Loredo reportedly told investigators that he and Gonzalez were returning from a brewery in Crystal Lake, where they had been sampling beers. Loredo went on to say the crash occurred when another vehicle entered his lane and he swerved to avoid a collision, Byrnes said.
Another driver, David Joyner, was going the opposite direction on Kishwaukee Valley Road when the crash occurred, he said. Joyner passed the wreck, but initially mistook Loredo’s vehicle for a “mangled up guardrail,” he said.
“As I got further down the street something told me, did I just see a car or a guardrail?” Joyner said.
After turning around to circle back to the crash, Joyner said he found Loredo “rocking back and forth, crying, saying, ‘She’s not responding,’ ” he testified.
“He was saying that over and over and over,” Joyner said.
Although police collected blood and urine samples from Loredo at the hospital, one of the man’s attorneys, Chris Humphrey, questioned why the responding officers didn’t perform any roadside sobriety tests after the crash.
At least two officers testified that Loredo showed signs of being under the influence.
The trial will pick back up Nov. 20, when prosecutors expect to have reviewed information gathered from a subpoena that was issued Tuesday.