CHICAGO — The North Chicago police officer accused of killing two people while driving drunk on Lake Shore Drive Friday had been celebrating his birthday before the fatal crash, prosecutors said Sunday, and had a blood-alchohol content that was more than two times over the legal limit.
Terrell Garrett told police he had been drinking earlier in the night, and his blood-alcohol content was .184, prosecutors said. The legal limit for driving is .08.
About 4 a.m. Friday, Garrett entered Lake Shore Drive's southbound lanes at LaSalle Street heading north, police said. Garrett's SUV struck a Scion between Belmont Avenue and Diversey Parkway before smashing into a Jeep, police said. Authorities said Friday morning that alcohol was suspected to play a role in the crash.
The two men in the Jeep were killed. They were identified as Fabian Torres, 27, of the 2800 block of South Avers, and Joaquin Garcia, 25, of the 2200 block of West 18th Place, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
Garrett was ordered held on $500,000 bail on Sunday by Cook County Judge James Brown. Should he make bail, he will have to wear an electronic monitoring device.
Garrett, 35, was charged Saturday with two counts of aggravated DUI and two counts of reckless homicide.
In court, Assistant State's Attorney Michael Rusch said Garett was driving northbound in the southbound lane of Lake Shore Drive, and several witnesses saw Garrett drive the wrong way.
Garcia's family expressed anger that Garrett was offered bail.
"He killed my nephew, and he should stay in jail," Garcia's uncle, Julian Garcia said. "He should be in jail with the rest of the killers."
Garia will be buried on Wednesday, the same day his mother, Cecilia, turns 43.
Garcia was close to graduating from Malcolm X College's surgical technician program, his family said.
"I was going to have a big party for him. Now I'm planning his funeral," Cecilia Garcia said.
Torres' mother, Asuncion, expressed bewilderment at her son's death.
"It's so unnatural for a mother to have to bury her child," she said. "It's so wrong, it's so unjust."
Garrett, who became a North Chicago cop in 2008, was stripped of his police powers and placed on administrative leave following his arrest Friday, according to a statement from North Chicago Police Chief James Jackson.
Garrett did not appear in court as he is still in the hospital recovering from injuries he sustained in the crash, police said. His lawyer, Richard Bliss, said Garrett, who lives in Zion, has a 2-year-old daughter and worked for PepsiCo before joining the police department.
Additional reporting by Tanveer Ali, Erica Demarest and Quinn Ford