Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Police charged a Park Forest man with driving under the influence of alcohol after he allegedly crashed his car into the electric box at Western Ave. and Steger Rd. The impact caused the signals to go dark and stopped traffic.
Police arrested Adolfo Cervantes, 66, 211 Indianwood Blvd., Park Forest, on November 3 and charged him with DUI alcohol, disobeying a red light signal, failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident, no proof of insurance, and illegal transportation of alcohol.
Officers responded to the intersection of Western Avenue and Steger Road at 4:14 PM to investigate a vehicle accident report. SouthCom related that an off-duty officer reported that a vehicle struck an electric box.
Electric Box Controls Traffic Signals
When police arrived, they found a gold 2006 Ford Fusion off the roadway on the west side of Western Avenue and Steger Road. Two tire tracks led west across Western from Steger Road towards the Ford. According to officers, the Ford appeared to have traveled westbound on Steger Road at a high speed, leaving the roadway after it could not stop. The front of the Ford was resting on top of an electrical box, the traffic signal controls, according to the report.
The traffic lights at the intersection were no longer functioning.
Driver Stands by Car Talking on Phone
A man, later identified as Adolfo Cervantes, stood by the open driver’s door of the Ford, talking on the phone, according to police. The off-duty officer told police he was on Western Avenue in his vehicle when he saw the Ford travel westbound on Steger Road. It allegedly went through the Western Avenue intersection at a high rate of speed, according to the report. According to police, the Ford did so while the light was red. According to the report, the Ford left the roadway and struck the electrical box.
The vehicle also struck a yellow safety cap for a natural gas line, police said. This resulted in a robust natural gas smell accompanied by a hissing sound. Police suspected a gas leak.
Officers advised SouthCom of the situation with the natural gas and requested that the Park Forest Police Department respond. Officers moved their squads north away from the area for safety purposes. They also shut down the traffic.
Park Forest Fire Department Responds
One officer in his squad escorted Mr. Cervantes away from the scene after telling him there was a possible gas leak. The Park Forest Fire Department checked the crash scene and advised officers there was no gas leak. They said that it was safe to tow the Ford.
Mr. Cervantes allegedly told police he was traveling westbound on Steger Road when a lady cut him off. He said he went through the red light signal at the Western intersection, could not stop in time, and crashed.
Mr. Cervantes told police he was wearing his seatbelt but could not remember how fast he was going. According to the report, he said he was not injured and did not need paramedics. An officer noted that Mr. Cervantes allegedly had glossy and watery eyes and slow reaction and response times, police said. When walking on the level roadway, Mr. Cervantes allegedly kept placing his left hand along the side of the officer’s squad for support, according to police.
Driver Allegedly Admits to Drinking
The officer asked him how much he had to drink. Mr. Cervantes allegedly said that he had two or three beers about an hour and a half before. The officer asked what kind of beer he drank. At this point, Mr. Cervantes reportedly changed his statement, saying he did not drink beer. Instead, he allegedly said he had three whiskeys mixed with “77.” According to the report, the officer took this to mean whiskey with 7-Up.
The officer asked Mr. Cervantes to take a standardized Field sobriety test. Mr. Cervantes agreed, according to police. After the tests, the officer placed Mr. Cervantes under arrest on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol, according to the report.
At the police station, Mr. Cervantes declined to take a breathalyzer test, according to the report.
About Police Reports
Please note that we repeatedly say “according to police” in these reports and often use “allegedly.” We are not asserting in any way that those police arrested and charged committed any offenses. We report on what is in the reports that the police furnish to us. As those accused are innocent until proven guilty, the burden is on prosecutors and police to prove all alleged crimes.
eNews Park Forest has continuously published the addresses of those arrested and will continue to do so. 5 ILCS 140/2.15 states that the governmental body (for these reports, the Police Department), shall release information on those charged, including their name, age, and address. This information is necessary to ensure the proper identity of those arrested.
Presumption of Innocence
An arrest does not mean that a person is guilty. The law presumes all those whom police arrest are innocent until proven guilty. It is the policy of eNews Park Forest not to remove items from the public record from publication. Suppose you find your name in the police reports. Our policy is that we will only add information relevant to the final disposition of the case at hand, e.g., “Mr. Smith was subsequently acquitted,” “Mr. Smith entered a guilty plea,” or “All charges against Mr. Smith were subsequently dropped.” We will do so upon receiving and verifying proof of such disposition.
We do not strike, “unpublish,” or delete news.
Police captured all the incidents in this report on body-worn and dash-mounted cameras by officers at the respective scenes, according to police. All Park Forest police officers wear body-worn cameras. Officials typically abbreviate these devices as BWC in the reports.
We encourage persons wishing to leave anonymous information on any criminal matters, including narcotics or gang activity, to call the Park Forest Police Department Investigations Division at (708) 748-1309.