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Valle pleads not guilty in fatal crash
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Valle pleads not guilty in fatal crash

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MARKHAM | Lynwood village Clerk Roel "Roy" Valle pleaded not guilty Tuesday during his first physical appearance in court on charges stemming from the Feb. 4 car crash that killed a Chicago woman.

The Lynwood village clerk is charged with six counts of aggravated driving under the influence and one charge of reckless homicide.

He said little during his appearance before Cook County Associate Judge Michelle Simmons.

He acknowledged his obligation to show up for all hearings related to this case.

His attorney, Raymond Garza, entered the not guilty plea on his behalf.

Valle, 64, had not attended previous court hearings related to the case because of the injuries he suffered from the crash that occurred on Ill. 394 near Ford Heights. Garza said Valle has not fully recovered, and that he has developed an infection in his right leg. Garza said doctors expect Valle to recover.

Valle arrived at the 6th District courthouse in a wheelchair, with his right leg propped up and his left wrist and arm in a black brace. He used his hands to waive away reporters who tried to question him.

Valle remains free after posting 10 percent of a $250,000 bond previously set.

Simmons issued orders requiring Franciscan St. James Health in Chicago Heights, Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and Franciscan St. Margaret Health in Dyer to provide the Cook County state's attorney's office with all medical records for those involved in the crash.

Simmons issued an order permitting Valle to leave the state to visit his doctors in Munster and Schererville.

Illinois State Police said Valle was driving north in the southbound lanes of Ill. 394 in a village-owned 2008 Ford Taurus when he collided head-on with a 2000 Chrysler Cirrus, causing it to overturn into the center median. Valle's vehicle allegedly then hit a third car.

A passenger in the Cirrus, Melikah Little, 32, was killed, and the driver was injured. Little's husband, Manuel, 37, who was driving the third car, also was injured.

Garza said Tuesday that Valle has expressed his condolences to the Little family.

Police said at the time of the accident that Valle was under the influence of alcohol, and Garza said Valle remains, "grief-stricken about this loss. He really is beside himself about what happened."

The Little family has filed a lawsuit against Valle, seeking financial damages for Little's death. Dave Perozzi, of the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, was in attendance for the hearing. He said he is following the case, but has not yet had contact with the Little family.

Valle was elected to his second, four-year term as village clerk in 2009 and also served four terms as a village trustee.

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