An Arlington Heights resident, Gary L. Bozza, age 67, was indicted in a fatal hit-and-run case that occurred Saturday, December 17, 2022 in Lake Zurich and was arraigned in Lake County Court of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit on Tuesday, January 23, 2024. The indictment was returned January 10, 2024.
Bozza’s next criminal/traffic court date is March 4, 2024.
Pedestrian Jose Portillo, age 38, an immigrant living in Lake Zurich, was killed when Gary L. Bozza allegedly struck him with the vehicle he was driving.
Gary L. Bozza is charged with …
1) failure to stop at a crash involving injury or death (a Class 4 Felony), and
2) failure to report a crash involving injury or death (a Class 1 Felony). Anyone who has committed the felony of failure to stop as in this case, is obligated to report the crash no later than one-half hour after the crash.
Also, a civil case, apparently for wrongful death (>$50,000) was filed on December 18, 2023 — about the one year anniversary of the fatal pedestrian crash.
His next civil case date is March 28, 2024.
Gary Bozza has a traffic court history of three minor traffic offenses in Lake County …
#1) speeding 11-14 MPH above limit in Grayslake on April 22, 1998,
#2) speeding 15-20 MPH above limit in Buffalo Grove on January 22, 2012, and
#3) disregarding a traffic control device in Buffalo Grove on October 20, 2016.
On the devastating night on Saturday, December 17, 2022, a police officer was assigned to respond to a safety and well-being check for a report of an intoxicated person walking down Rand Road in the dark. A police officer arrived in the area; and upon arrival, witnessed the driver of a dark SUV strike the pedestrian and continue without stopping.
Lake Zurich police responded about 11:43 p.m. Saturday to the report of the “male subject” walking in the roadway in the block of 700 South Rand Road, which is near LA Fitness. Upon arrival, police observed a dark colored SUV strike Jose Portillo on the south side of Rand Road (US-12). The driver of the SUV continued southbound on Rand Road (US-12 EAST) toward Arlington Heights. The police officer stopped at the scene to help Jose Portillo, and provide lifesaving measures instead of following the SUV.
According to the Lake Zurich Police Department, additional officers arrived, and the police officers continued to provide lifesaving measures on Jose Portillo until Lake Zurich Fire Department paramedics arrived to render aid. Jose Portillo was pronounced dead at the scene.
Firefighters and paramedics from Lake Zurich Fire Department were specifically assigned to the scene about 11:49 p.m. Saturday, December 17, 2022 to the report of a pedestrian down on Rand Road near Popeyes, 742 South Rand Road in Lake Zurich.
Police were administering CPR when paramedics arrived.
A Lake Zurich Fire rescue ambulance remained at the scene during part of the initial on-scene police investigation.
Investigators from the Lake Zurich Police Department and the Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team (MCAT) quickly began to investigate the incident on scene, and then continued the investigation off scene. Bozza and his damaged vehicle were located the following day.
Anyone with information about the case was urged to contact Lake Zurich Police Department Sergeant Colin Gaffney at 847-719-1690 x 6126.
Snowfall was on and off during day and night on Saturday, December 17, 2022, but no snow was accumulated on Rand Road at the time of the crash.
The southbound lanes of Rand Road (US-12 EAST) were shut down at June Terrace during rescue operations, and during the extended crash investigation with MCAT on the scene. In the vicinity of the crash scene, Rand Road is a four-lane highway with a grass median, and extra turn lanes for right turns and left turns. Southbound Rand Road has a narrow hard shoulder, and then a curb in the right lane near LA Fitness.
The Speed Limit on US-12 EAST is 50 MPH, posted near June Terrace, where there are stoplights at the intersection.
There is a sidewalk on the south side of Rand Road about 25 to 30 feet from the edge of the right lane of southbound Rand Road (US-12 EAST). The sidewalk runs from June Terrace to the property where LA Fitness is located. The sidewalk continues east almost to the intersection of Rand Road and Old Rand Road.
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