Crime & Courts

Witnesses: Former Rockford man didn't appear drunk after fatal McHenry County crash

Jose Eduardo Loredo, 31
Jose Eduardo Loredo, 31

A former Rockford man accused of killing his girlfriend during a drunken-driving crash near Marengo showed no outward signs of being intoxicated after he struck a tree, witnesses testified Wednesday.

Jose Eduardo Loredo, 31, is on trial in the Feb. 24, 2018, crash that killed his girlfriend, Ilian Sanchez, 29, of Rockford. He’s charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol. 

Registered nurse Bethany Pollnow, who works in the emergency room at Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital, testified Wednesday that treating Loredo was a memorable event.

“He was very upset. Tearful, remorseful. Repeatedly asking about his girlfriend,” Pollnow said. “I couldn’t give him any information.”

While the McHenry County Coroner’s Office identified Loredo’s girlfriend as Ilian Gonzalez, court records and her obituary list her as Ilian Sanchez.

Sanchez was a passenger in a Hyundai Velostar that was traveling west on Kishwaukee Valley Road about 7:25 p.m. that day when it went off the road at South McKinstry Road and struck a tree in unincorporated Seneca Township.

She died of blunt-force trauma to the head, according to the coroner’s office.

One of Loredo’s defense attorneys, Chris Humphrey, questioned Pollnow about whether Loredo told her “he ran into a tree while trying to avoid another car.” He did, she replied.

His behavior didn’t indicate signs that Loredo was intoxicated, she said. However, hospital policy is to draw blood in such medical cases. McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Alan Sabol testified that Loredo’s blood alcohol content registered at 0.104%. The legal limit is 0.08%.

As for whether Loredo appeared intoxicated at the crash site, Sabol told McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt, “I don’t believe there was any mention on scene.”

Loredo asked the judge last year for permission to move for a job in Indianapolis, according to court records. In October 2018, his request was granted. He remains free on $8,000 cash bail.

Loredo’s bench trial is being conducted intermittently around witnesses’ and the parties’ availabilities.

The prosecution rested Wednesday afternoon. Defense attorneys Humphrey and Elder Granger II are expected to begin the defense’s case when the trial resumes Dec. 4. 

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