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Driver In Crash That Killed NIU Grad Student Is Released On Recognizance


The man accused of driving under the influence and causing a fatal car crash has been released and is out on his own recognizance. 

Daniel Chavez, 25, was arrested following the car crash Sunday shortly after midnight on Lincoln Highway that killed NIU graduate student Sai Kumar Adluru  and injured three passengers.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s office says they found traces of marijuana in Chavez’s Jeep, with urine tests confirming the presence of the drug in his system. He also had a blood alcohol level of .076 -- slightly below the legal limit of .08.

Chavez is charged with one count of aggravated DUI resulting in death, as well as two counts of aggravated DUI causing great bodily harm, the Daily Chronicle reports. Aggravated DUI is punishable by up to three years in prison, but sentencing ranges can increase when it involves death or great bodily harm.

Sai Kumar Adluru

A pretrial services report shows that Chavez earns $9 an hour, moved from Rochelle to his apartment on West Taylor Street in DeKalb two weeks ago, and is separated from his spouse.

Chief Judge Robbin Stuckert says Chavez's low wages and lack of previous criminal record led to his release on recognizance, with a $20,000 bond and subject to electronic home monitoring.

Chavez will face a status hearing June 9.

Adluru was an NIU graduate student in electrical engineering.  A GoFundMe account had raised nearly $42,800 as of Tuesday morning to help Adluru's family defray expenses related to his death.