Newspaper vendor killed in I-55 ramp crash

September 10, 2012 8:20:15 AM PDT
A 23-year-old man has been charged in the hit-and-run death of a newspaper salesman from Bellwood early Friday on the Damen ramp to outbound I-55.

Robery Butler, 51, was struck around 4:30 a.m. Friday at the Damen exit ramp of the Stevenson Expressway.

Police say the driver of the car sped away but was caught a short time later.

The suspect's SUV suffered major front-end damage.

Anthony Castillo, 23, of the 3400-block of S. Hermitage, has been charged with reckless homicide with a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident with injury or death, possession of a controlled substance and failure to reduce speed.

Castillo's passenger, Isaiah Canales, 23, of the 2200-block of South Wood, was charged with possession of cannabis, a misdemeanor.

Castillo was driving his 2007 Jeep Laredo at an estimated 80 mph in the 30 mph zone when he hit Butler, Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Wendy Caceres said in court Sunday.

Butler, who'd been selling Sun-Times newspapers, screamed, flew up in the air and hit a witness's car before bouncing back in front of Castillo's Jeep and being run over, Caceres said.

Castillo has a prior conviction for driving on a suspended license and says he works as a clerk at the Chicago Yacht Club.

Judge James Brown on Sunday set his bond at $500,000, ordering him not to drive if he makes bail.

Butler's younger brother Frank Butler said his family was praying that justice is done.

Butler had two sons and two daughters and was "a devoted and generous family man," who was "always laughing," his brother said.

A onetime Proviso East running back, Butler was a big football fan who would have been watching the Bears game Sunday if he had not been mowed down Friday, his brother added.

"I'm just praying and trying to forgive," Frank Butler said. Castillo "probably didn't mean to kill my brother but I'm just praying to God that he does his time and that my family can find peace."

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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