West Chicago man accused of fatal DUI to remain free ahead of trial

A West Chicago man accused of fatally striking a pedestrian with his SUV while intoxicated early Monday morning will be allowed to remain free ahead of his trial.

James Vaughn, 43, appeared in court Tuesday morning where Judge Joshua Dieden denied the state's motion to detain him before his trial, according to a statement from the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office. Vaughn has been charged with two counts of aggravated DUI causing death, prosecutors said.

Around 2:36 a.m., West Chicago police officers responded to the area of Roosevelt Road and Pearl Road for a report of a crash involving a pedestrian, according to prosecutors. When officers arrived, they found 36-year-old Miguel Duran lying face down in the road. Duran, who was not breathing and was bleeding from his head, was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, the statement said.

Investigators determined Vaughn was driving west on Roosevelt Road in his 2011 Jeep Liberty when he allegedly struck Duran as he was crossing the street, according to prosecutors. Vaughn remained at the scene where responding officers detected an odor of alcohol as well as glassy and blood shot eyes on him.

James Vaughn, 43. (DuPage County States Attorneys Office)

A sobriety test revealed Vaughn's blood alcohol level was 0.11 at the time of the crash, according to prosecutors. Officers also allegedly recovered a can of Monaco, an alcoholic cocktail, behind the front passenger seat during a search of his Jeep.

"Like all alleged DUI cases, the case against Mr. Vaughn was 100% avoidable," DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement. "With ride-sharing services available with just the touch of a finger at any time day or night, there is absolutely no reason to drive after you have been drinking, yet people still continue to get behind the wheel when they know full well, they should not."

"This is a senseless tragedy on many levels and is the reason why the City of West Chicago continues to make a concentrated effort to remove impaired drivers from our roadways," West Chicago Chief of Police Colin Fleury said in the statement.

Vaughn's next court appearance is scheduled for May 13 for arraignment.