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Driver guilty in crash that killed 17-year-old as he walked along I-88

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The woman accused of a hit-and-run crash, that killed 17-year-old Emilio Perez on I-88, was found guilty in Rock Island County Court.

Maria Romero, 34, of Rockford, Illinois, was accused of hitting Perez as he walked along I-88 near Joslin in March 2014. Police said Perez was walking along the road after his car ran out of gas.

Investigators found a side mirror near the crash scene that they later said had belonged to Romero’s 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe. The mirror was part of the evidence police used to eventually identify Romero as the suspected driver.

Romero was arrested September 2, 2014, and she faced felony charges of leaving the scene of an accident and causing an accident that resulted in death. She was held since then in the Rock Island County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond.

Romero pleaded guilty to the second charge in an apparent plea agreement announced at a June 2, 2015 hearing in Rock Island County Court. The first charge of leaving the scene was dismissed.

Romero was sentenced to two years in prison, with a one-year mandatory sentence required. She received credit for the 228 days she already served in the Rock Island County Jail. She was also ordered to pay $9,000 in restitution within 90 days of the sentencing date.

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5 comments

    • WendyWhiner

      Of course, she’ll be deported if she’s here illegally, after she does her time. If they’d deported her right away, she might have not done any time at all.

  • david

    Shoulda got life in prison. U take a life without reporting what u done, then u lose ur life. I understand accidents happen but fess up when it happens and she coulda saved his life. Hit and run, meant she didn’t care about no one except herself.

  • Elzie Banks

    No matter how much time she serve in prison it will not replace one second of Emilio’s life or remove the daily pain that my friend and his experience every moment of their life because of the life of their child taken so soon and so violently . May God have mercy on her if he chooses . For the rest of us ???????????

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