Bloomington woman faces DUI in crash that killed her 8-year-old son (2024)

BLOOMINGTON— A 33-year-old Bloomington woman is charged with driving under the influence in a crash that killed her 8-year-old son, prosecutors said.

Stephany J. Flores-Ramirez appeared Monday in McLean County Circuit Court on charges connected to the July 3 crash on Interstate 74 between Bloomington and Downs. Judge Scott Black ordered her release from custody after hearing arguments about whether she should be jailed before trial.

Bloomington woman faces DUI in crash that killed her 8-year-old son (1)

The boy killed in the crash, Raymundo Bucio-Flores, was a student at Stevenson Elementary Schoolin Bloomington. He was described as happy, bright and "full of life" by a paternal aunt who created a GoFundMe online fundraiser to help cover his funeral expenses.

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"He lit up every room he walked into and made everyone laugh," Alexandra Bucio wrote of her nephew. "He was smart and intuitive, always playing some sort of video game. A sweet and loving boy. He leaves behind a sister and a brother who will miss his presence dearly."

Bloomington woman faces DUI in crash that killed her 8-year-old son (2)

Flores-Ramirez also is chargedwith aggravated driving under the influence causing death, which is a Class 2 felony, and aggravated driving under the influence causing great bodily harm, a Class 4 felony.

She appeared deeply shaken during the hearing, inhaling to catch her breath as tears streamed down her face.

Assistant State's Attorney David Fitt had sought to keep her in custody before trial, arguing that Flores-Ramirez posed a danger to the community.

He outlined the case as follows: At 9:54 p.m. Wednesday, Illinois State Police troopers were dispatched to a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 74 near Downs. They found a white Chevrolet van and blue Ford Edge, both badly damaged; Flores-Ramirez was identified as the driver of the Ford.

A witness told police they had observed Flores-Ramirez's vehicle traveling east before leaving its lane, crossing over the center grassy median and crashing head-on with the other vehicle, which was traveling in the westbound lanes, Fitt said.

The prosecutor said a critically injured victim was removed from the van, taken to OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington and ultimately flown by helicopter to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria for treatment of life-threatening injuries.

Flores-Ramirez reportedly at first told police that no one else was in the car with her, but later acknowledged that her son was in the vehicle, Fitt said. Police said she seemed confused while speaking with them.

Officers then saw the boy, bleeding and motionless, on the floorboard of the vehicle, Fitt said. He was taken to OSF St. Joseph and pronounced dead.

McLean County Coroner Kathy Yoder previously said the child died from "multiple blunt injuries."

According to court records, the trooper said he smelled a strong odor of alcohol on the defendant's breath, and found two open 100 milliliter (about 3.4 ounces) bottles of alcohol, but did not initially request field sobriety tests due to potential injuries and medical treatment.

Flores-Ramirez was transported to Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, where she agreed to blood and urine samples for testing, Fitt said. The blood sample, collected at 1:07 a.m., showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.120, well above the legal limit of 0.08, he said.

Flores-Ramirez was released from the hospital on Friday and taken into custody for questioning, he said. She reportedly told investigators that she had only consumed one can of beer and was not intoxicated.

Arguing that she should remain in custody, Fitt cited what he described as the defendant's "lies" and said he had concerns about her honesty while being monitored before trial.

He also noted that she was under court supervision, a court order to not commit any new criminal offenses.

McLean County court records show that she pleaded guilty to speeding 15-20 mph above the speed limit in March, and to use of an electronic communication device while driving in April.

"If, your honor, she's willing to drive intoxicated with her own child in the car and is willing to risk it, then what court order can we possibly impose on her that's more serious than that and hope that she won't get behind the wheel intoxicated again?" Fitt asked.

Public defender Hannah Katavich argued that other conditions could mitigate any danger posed by her client. She said there is no evidence that her client has not followed court regulations, and there is no evidence she is a threat to the community due to her record only consisting of petty offenses.

Katavich asked for GPS tracking and a monitor for alcohol usage in lieu of detention.

Black agreed, denying the prosecutor's petition to detain Flores-Ramirez and imposing the following conditions: She must consume no drugs or alcohol, obtain an evaluation for substance abuse, wear an electric bracelet to monitor alcohol consumption, refrain from operating any motor vehicle, and report to pretrial court services where she will undergo court supervision.

An arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. July 19.


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Kaitlyn Klepec

Courts and Public Safety Reporter

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Bloomington woman faces DUI in crash that killed her 8-year-old son (2024)


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