Driver charged with DUI in crash that killed teen
By David Roeder
Jan 23, 2011 11:18PM
The family of 17-year-old Bahra Echmail faced religious persecution as Christians in Iraq, so they fled to the United States about six years ago.
On Sunday, family members looked to their faith for strength as they mourned her death in a West Ridge traffic accident.
Police said Bahra died early Saturday after the driver of a sport-utility vehicle in which she was riding allegedly blew a stop sign and hit a car in the 6700 block of North Artesian.
The crash injured the 20-year-old driver and four other teenagers in the SUV, including Bahraâ€™s younger sister Berola. All remained hospitalized Sunday.
Bahra was â€œgorgeous, beautiful and a good girl,â€ said Marie Aldugom, a family friend.
She said Bahra was a student at Truman College and was close to her younger siblings.
Berolaâ€™s condition was stable, Aldugom said.
Bahraâ€™s family members are active in the Assyrian church, and they cherish religious freedom, she said. â€œShe loved this country,â€ Aldugom said of Bahra.
â€œShe was always an outgoing person and extremely friendly,â€ she said.
Bahra, of the 5700 block of North Washtenaw, was pronounced dead at 3:14 a.m. Saturday at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, the medical examinerâ€™s office said.
Police said the driver, Francisco Campos, of the 5600 block of North Central, was charged with driving under the influence.
Campos also was ticketed for failing to stop at a stop sign , police said.
Campos, who turned 20 on Saturday, was driving a 2003 Ford Explorer northbound on Artesian at high speed about 2 a.m. Saturday when he hit a car that was westbound on North Shore, police said.
After the crash, Campos continued driving north and hit two parked cars and a tree before stopping, police said.
Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire