Crash survivor: Driver went wrong way intentionally

February 8, 2012 5:00:49 AM PST
The only survivor of a crash caused by a wrong-way driver on I-80 is sharing his story. Eduardo Rodriguez says he tried to get his friend to stop, but he wouldn't listen. The driver and two of his passengers were killed. A Sauk Village man who was driving the car that was hit also died.

"He wanted to jump in the other lane, he wanted to go into the other lane," Rodriguez told ABC7. "We tell him stop but he wouldn't listen. He was going straight."

Eddie Rodriguez has a broken arm and a lot of pain. His friend, Gustavo Vargas, was driving an Infiniti when police say he made an illegal u-turn and headed the wrong way on Interstate 80.

Rodriguez says it was intentional.

"That's what he said, you guys ready to die? And he took off running fast, like 120 in his car," he said. "It was like 100, 110, 120."

Rodriguez says the crash happened after seven hours of drinking and a stop at a Harvey strip club. The four, who were friends since high school, then loaded into the car for the drive home to Cicero.

It was a fatal decision. In addition to three of the four in the Infiniti, the crash also killed Jason Wepsiec, who was on his way to his fiancee's home in Plainfield.

"I'm so sorry, for her, for his family, for Eddie's friends and family," said Marisol Reyes, girlfriend of the deceased driver, Gustavo Vargas.

Reyes and Vargas have a 3-year-old daughter together. She offers no excuses but an important lesson learned. "Don't drink and drive," she said.

When asked why he thinks he survived, Rodriguez said, "God gave me another chance to live."

Friend insist Vargas' taunting and recklessness were out of character.

State police point out the crash was the second involving a wrong-way driver and alcohol on local roads in one week.