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Chicago House Music Community Rallies in the Wake of Tragic Car Crash

Don't drink and drive.

In the wake of a deadly car crash earlier this week involving Chicago-based DJ Rafael Rodriguez, who goes by the alias Lego, Chicago's house music community has rallied around the three-year-old daughter of Claudia Beruben, who was killed in the accident.

The crash happened early Monday morning as Rodriguez's car veered off Lake Shore Drive, went through a guardrail, and slammed into a raised concrete wall. Reportedly going 90 mph, the car then flipped over onto a frozen lagoon in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Both Rodriguez and Beruben were extricated from the car and taken to hospitals, where Beruben was pronounced dead. She is survived by her 3-year-old daughter, Brianna.


According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Rodriguez's blood alcohol content was 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent. He has been charged with aggravated DUIand is being held on $1 million bail. Rodriguez has a prior record including a 2012 DUI conviction, a revoked license, and six speeding violations in the last five years.

A crowdfunding site has been set up by friends of Claudia Beruben

In honor of Beruben, her cousin, Sandra Gomez-Bersamin, others have set up a memorial fund for Brianna through the GiveForward website called "Hopes & Dreams for Claudia Beruben's Daughter Brianna." It has so far accrued two-thirds of the $40,000 goal, and is being promoted by friends from within the city's tight-knit house music community and beyond. Many local DJs and those with Chicago roots have also expressed their condolences and wishes for Rodriguez's speedy recovery on social media.

Both Rodriguez and Beruben were part of Chicago's small and close-knit house music community as artist and supporter, respectively. Beruben's uncle is the local DJ and producer Louie Gomez, who Tweeted in support of his niece and her daughter this week. According to a popular dance music forum, the couple may have been driving home after a party tributing the late Frankie Knuckles at Smart Bar, where Beruben was spotted dancing and smiling prior to the crash.

As DJ Lego, Rodriguez has held a number of residencies in Chicago, starting with the nightclub Kaboom at age 19. He ran a label called Poontin Muzik, had a 17-year residency at the legendary Boom Boom Room, and regularly played at Smartbar, Martini Ranch, and Darkroom.

Beruben's funeral will be held this Saturday at St. Benedicts Church in Blue Island, Illinois, just outside Chicago.

The Give Forward page for Beruben's daughter can be found here.