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Man held in fatal hit-and-run West Chicago crash
By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/24/2007 6:14 PM | Updated: 9/24/2007 6:14 PM

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A motorist remained in police custody Monday in Michigan after he was accused of fleeing a weekend crash in West Chicago that left a Lisle woman dead.

Luis Alvarez, 24, who lives near Montgomery, is charged with felony leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Police arrested him late Sunday on a $500,000 warrant.

Authorities said Alvarez fled after his red 2000 Pontiac Montana struck the rear of a motorcycle at about 8 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of Route 59 and Stimmel Street in West Chicago.

Rescuers found the motorcycle's driver, William Rezac, 55, of Warrenville, and his female passenger, 51-year-old Deborah Atkinson, of Lisle, with severe injuries. Both were rushed to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield.

A doctor pronounced Atkinson dead shortly later. Rezac was airlifted to Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, were he remained Monday in critical condition.

Back at the crash scene, witnesses told police officers that the other motorist in the crash fled south on Route 59. Minutes later, police found the Pontiac Montana abandoned about a half mile away at Forest and Easton avenues. Police said the car had extensive front-end damage, consistent with a traffic crash.

Authorities said they developed Alvarez as a suspect Sunday after tracing the abandoned Pontiac back to him. A DuPage County judge signed a warrant for his arrest. Police in Grand Rapids, Mich. arrested Alvarez shortly before midnight Sunday after detectives developed leads that he fled to a relative's home.

Alvarez, who lives on the 800 block of Hill Avenue in unincorporated Kane County, is being held in the Kent County jail. He is expected to appear in court for an extradition hearing this week. If he waives extradition, Alvarez is expected to return to Illinois this week. Otherwise, the legal process may take several months.