Early Sunday Morning Wreck at CL’s Oak and 176

A press release from the Crystal Lake Police Department:

Traffic Crash Results in Serious Injury, One Driver Charged with D.U.I.

On Sunday, February 8, 2015 at approximately 2:17 AM, emergency crews from the Crystal Lake Fire Rescue and Crystal Lake Police Departments responded to a report of a traffic crash involving two vehicles at the intersection of Illinois Route 176 at Oak Street, Crystal Lake.

Ruben Zendejas

Ruben Zendejas

Upon arrival crews determined a 1996 Chevrolet Trailblazer operated by Ruben Zendejas, (24) of Hoffman Estates, had been travelling northbound Oak Street and failed to stop for a red traffic control light.

The second vehicle; a 2000 SAAB driven by Clarissa Hamstra (26), of Crystal Lake, had been traveling westbound Route 176 and upon entering the intersection collided with the Trailblazer.

The SAAB then struck a traffic light standard and a utility pole on the northwest corner of the intersection.

A rear seat passenger in the SAAB; Brandon Ferreira (22) of Algonquin, IL sustained serious injuries in the crash.

Following extrication from the vehicle, he was transport to Centegra Hospital-McHenry where he remains.

Ruben Zendejas sustained minor injuries and was transported to Centegra Hospital-Woodstock, where he was treated and released from medical care.

As a result of the investigation into this matter *Ruben Zendejas of 1900 Governors Lane, Hoffman Estates, Il, was arrested and charged with;

  • Aggravated Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol {625ILCS5.0/11-501(d) (1) (c)}, a class four felony.
  • Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol {625ILCS5.0/11-501(A)(2)},
  • Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid a Crash {625ILCS5.0/11-601(a)}
  • Disregarding a Traffic Control Light {625ILCS5.0/11-306},
  • Failure to Carry License on Person {625ILCS5.0/6-112}.

He was transported to the McHenry County Jail to await a bond hearing.

This incident remains under investigation by the Crystal Lake Police Department.

Suspect listed is considered innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law


Early Sunday Morning Wreck at CL’s Oak and 176 — 8 Comments

  1. This irresponsible man has my long time friend, family and Brandon himself going through what is a horribly difficult time. Prayers for Brandon and his family and friends are requested at this time.

    When will they get a better handle on this drinking and driving situation????

    MADD and state and local ideas are not on the right track as those with money can still buy themselves out of trouble.

    As well the programs designed to “sober up” these DUI offenders are a joke. It is all political and about money. These places collect much money in exchange for hours that are required by law. These hours attended by the guilty are not what they are made out to be. Does anyone actually over see these programs? I know they have to be approved however what they actually provide is more like hours wasted opposed to helping those who have to go.

    They are not at all what MADD believes these offenders are experiencing.

    And having AA mandatory with those within a certain “risk” based on past shared history including the incident at hand is just wrong. There are many other programs to assist sobriety. AA is not the only way nor should it be mandatory as it takes away individual rights and may keep them from attending an otherwise better program for themselves. It can even give an individual a bad experience leading them to believe all programs bad.

    People are individuals and giving them all the same ineffective hoops to jump through is not proving to help.

    I have many many stories firsthand from those who attend.

    These programs are not helping anyone.

    Sobriety cannot be forced!

    Even taking away a license until one goes through these hoops does not in anyway keep most of these people from driving drunk.

    Nor does permanently taking away their license.

    People will easily break the law again and drive regardless of license status.

    The punishment is always concerning the driving although the alcohol is “to blame” they can continue drinking and many feel more reason to drink when they cannot drive nor work and their lives unravel.

    There has to be a change in a more effective direction.

    How about keeping the alcohol from the drinking and irresponsible? They could monitor this as well as they monitor those underage / under 21.

    Card everyone. Punish those who get alcohol for these individuals….. etc.

    The statistics for keeping alcohol out of the hands of those who are not legal to have it are way more effective than these laws and programs are in curbing dui’s.

    But there would be much money lost to the to those with their hands in the cookie jar with the way things are now!

    People will break laws, yes. Whether it be driving without a license or drinking underage or otherwise not allowed.

    So why take the license away when the problem is not the persons ability to drive rather their judgement after drinking and ability to think rationally.

    People need to drive for many reasons.
    People do not need to drink.

    You cannot punish a person sober.

    The real problem is the drink or drug of choice.

    Crack down in that area as well. And rethink this whole process currently in place as it is not working. Those that are the worst offenders know how to get around laws while those who may have a drink too many at a wedding reception and barely blow a tenth over the legal limit still need their driving privileges and would have no problem abstaining from drinking and still have the other aspects of their lives in tact.

    We need to think out of the box here.
    A change is long overdue.

  2. How about parents teaching their children to be responsible?

    That’s the change that changed everything!

    God gave us free will and we as a people decided to opt out of all responsibility.

    When people wise up, then you will have your answer on how to “fix” this.

    In other words – ain’t gonna happen.

    You can’t legislate stupid; and society certainly equals stupid.

  3. I’m not going to defend this guy’s decision to drink and drive one bit.

    Having said that, it must be pointed out that the traffic lights on Oak St. at this intersection are woefully substandard.

    As there is no overhead signal head here, it can be difficult to see the heads mounted on poles on the southeast and northwest corners.

    This might have been sufficient in 1975 or whenever (the overhead mast arms on 176 scream IDOT 1970’s style) but it does not work today, especially with the growth in vehicle height from that era to now.

    I can have a hard time seeing the signals on northbound Oak, and I live here.

    If the reason for this crash was that this schmoe (who was from out of town and presumable not familiar with this intersection) was too drunk to notice the signals mounted on ground standards then it could have been avoided by having a signal head mounted above the intersection.

  4. Because of this drunk driver my cousin is in that hospital in pain, possibly paralized.

  5. Were the people in the other car ever tested for alcohol or anything else too?

    Granted the kid who hit them never should have been given the priveledge of getiing his license.

    But no one here is perfect.

    Just saying as things are gradually going around about this situation.

  6. Testing the victim who was in the back seat for alcohol or anything else?

    You need your head examined.

    Since when do we shame victim’s?

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