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Woman could avoid jail time after admitting guilt in double fatal crash
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Woman could avoid jail time after admitting guilt in double fatal crash

Catherine Perez

Catherine Perez

CROWN POINT — A Chicago woman could avoid prison time after pleading guilty Wednesday in connection with a crash in 2019 in Hammond that left two of her passengers dead.

Catherine Perez, 21, admitted she began chasing a red vehicle that had sideswiped her vehicle Oct. 7, 2019, when she struck the front of a semitrailer on southbound Indianapolis Boulevard at 108th Street.

Mia Rodriguez, 18, and Emely Perez, 17, both of Chicago, both passengers in Catherine Perez's gray Buick LaSabre, were killed in the crash.

Perez admitted she blew through several traffic signals as she chased the red vehicle, including a red light at the intersection where she hit the semi, according to her plea agreement.

According to charging documents, the Buick's data recorder showed Perez was traveling at 73 mph and didn't brake leading up to the crash.

Ride along with Superior Ambulance Service in East Chicago this Sunday. Video by Connor Burge.

She pleaded guilty to one count of reckless homicide, a level 5 felony. 

In exchange for her plea, Lake County prosecutors agreed to dismiss two counts of reckless homicide.

If Lake Criminal Court Judge Salvador Vasquez accepts Perez's plea agreement, he could sentence her to one to six years.

The parties agreed Perez will serve any period of incarceration in the Lake County Community Corrections program.

Defense attorney Lonnie Randolph II and Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Jovanni Miramontes will argue the length of Perez's sentencing during a hearing set for Sept. 1.

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