Bond set for Lynwood clerk in DUI crash

February 15, 2011 9:54:16 AM PST
Bond was set at $250,000 Tuesday for a suburban Lynwood official facing charges in a fatal crash.

Prosecutors say Roel Valle was driving under the influence at the time of the crash.

One woman was killed when, authorities say, Valle drove on the wrong side of Route 394 on February 4 and slammed into two cars near Ford Heights.

Valle, 64, remains hospitalized, but a court hearing was held Tuesday morning. A judge set bond at $250,000.

Valle's attorney says he has had multiple surgeries since the accident on his leg and arm and will be bedridden for two more weeks. The clerk in the village of Lynwood has been charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI in connection with the death of a 32-year-old mother of four.

About 1:15 a.m. on Friday, February 4, Valle was driving northbound on in the southbound lanes of Route 394 just south of the Bishop Ford Freeway, state police said. His vehicle struck a 2000 Chrysler Cirrus head-on and the impact caused the Chrysler to overturn into the center median.

The passenger in the Chrysler, Melikah Little, was killed instantly. The driver, 27-year-old Angelina Jones of Chicago, was critically injured, police said. Little would have celebrated her 33rd birthday on February 8.

Valle's vehicle then struck a White 1998 Ford Taurus head-on. That car was driven by Melikah Little's husband, Manuel L. Little, 37, who was traveling directly behind his wife, the release said.

Valle, of 3007 201st Pl. in Lynwood was driving a Black 2008 Ford Taurus owned by the village of Lynwood. Witnesses reported the vehicle traveling the wrong way at Route 394 and U.S. 30, two miles from the crash scene.

Alcohol and speed were contributory causes of the crash, state police said.

"That's tragic. These cases, there's no winner," said defense attorney Scott Arthur. "I mean, this man was a pillar of the community, a great guy. Great father. He's everything that you would expect somebody to be and more so; he's a Vietnam veteran. These things are tragic. There's no winner. The victim in this case had children. It's absolutely horrible."

Prosecutors say Valle went to three bars the night of the accident. They say, five hours after the accident, his blood alcohol level was tested at a .135, which is over the legal limit by almost 1 1/2 times.

Prosecutors also say Valle has a prior supervision for a DUI that occurred in 1985.

Meanwhile, the mayor of the Village of Lynwood released a statement Tuesday morning, saying, "Roel Valle is my friend and has done a lot of good things for a lot of people and for the Village of Lynwood. I feel for everyone involved, as it is a horrible tragedy. Ms. Little's children will be without a mother, and he has some things to work through. The Village of Lynwood is looking into what our next step is."

Valle's attorney says his family will have to dip into his government pension to be able to post bonds, and one of the conditions of his bonds is that he won't be able to drive.

(Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)