PEORIA — A deadly motorcycle accident has left a family grieving and questioning the ongoing police investigation.
Family and friends of 20-year-old Erik Herrera, who died in the accident June 6, staged a protest outside the Peoria County Courthouse Oct. 5 while Erik’s mother, Reina Foster, attended a court hearing for the driver of the car, who was issued a traffic citation for failure to yield. The driver has not been criminally charged.
Protesters held up hand-drawn placards calling for justice for Erik.
Foster wants more evidence considered against the driver of the vehicle Herrera broadsided. She believes the driver cut her son off.
“We’re looking for criminal charges against the woman who was under the influence,” said Foster, who is upset that the driver wasn’t tested until three hours after the crash for alcohol usage, and not at all for marijuana usage.
According to the police report, the driver’s blood alcohol level was extrapolated to what it would have been at the time of the crash — .065, which is below .08, the legal level of intoxication in Illinois.
Citing the ongoing investigation, the Peoria Police Department declined to comment on the case. A representative from the Peoria County State’s Attorney’s Office said they were still investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.
According to the police report, Herrera was driving his Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle southbound on Sheridan Road, south of Glen Avenue, around 6:15 p.m. when he struck a blue Ford Fusion turning left into the Little Caesars parking lot at 4300 N. Sheridan.
The Ford Fusion finished the turn and ran into the front of a dentist’s office in the shopping center.
Lying on Sheridan Road, Hererra — who was wearing a helmet — was alive but unresponsive after the accident. He died later at the hospital.
Herrera worked at Rivian while going to school at Illinois Central College. With a life-long passion for motorcycles, he had saved his money and purchased his first bike in May. Though witnesses interviewed by police said Herrera may have been speeding and driving recklessly, Foster said her son was a conscientious driver. Just the day before the fatal accident, Foster had a chance to observe her son’s driving skills.
“I was driving on Knoxville in a rental vehicle because my vehicle was in the shop, and I turned to my left and there was my son on his motorcycle,” said Foster. “I didn’t want my son to know that I had seen him because I wanted to observe him. He used every signal. He followed every rule of the road. And not until that evening when we were at home did I tell my son that I had seen him. I was so proud of him — he had his helmet on, he had his gloves. He did everything he needed to do, and the system failed him.”
Leslie Renken can be reached at (309) 370-5087 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook.com/leslie.renken.
This article originally appeared on Journal Star: Mother upset about investigation into son’s deadly crash in Peoria