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Local HIV/AIDS activist killed in crash at office
News posted Wed., Dec. 28, 2011
by Jamie Anne Royce
2012-01-04

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Local HIV/AIDS activist Fernando Blasco, 52, was killed Dec. 23 after a gang-related car chase ended in a crash into the offices of CALOR, an agency serving Latino people with disabilities, including those impacted by HIV.

The accident took place in the 5000 block of West Armitage Avenue.

Two other pedestrians were injured during the chase and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. All three victims were attending a Christmas party hosted by CALOR, according to an email from Peter McLoyd, community co-chair at Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services.

Police arrested five people in connection with the incident, but have only charged Anthony Segura, 20. He faces one count of reckless homicide with a motor vehicle and two counts of aggravated reckless driving causing bodily harm. Segura was issued a $500,000 bond, but he is being held for violating his probation for three counts of burglary.

Police say Segura was driving a Nissan Altima west on Armitage Avenue in pursuit of a Mitsubishi, when an unmarked police car spotted the chase and turned on sirens. Trying to evade police, Segura lost control of the vehicle, jumping a curb at the intersection of Lawler Avenue. The vehicle struck three pedestrians, injuring two men and killing Lagos-Balsco, as it crashed into the CALOR office.

"Blasco was a long-time activist in the HIV and AIDS field. He was always available to help people—a very, very dedicated person," said Rosa Martinez Colon, assistant director at CALOR.

Blasco formerly served as a member of the CALOR advisory board and as a co-chair for the U.S. Conference on AIDS. He most recently served on the Chicago HIV Prevention Planning Group and worked as a peer educator at the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, a clinic for the prevention, care, and research of HIV/AIDS.

Blasco was also the author of a paperback, "Gay" Bueno, Malo y Feo ( The Good, Bad and the Ugly ) .

"He was a very committed person and he was very supportive of all the people he came in contact with," Omar Lopez, director at CALOR. "It's such a big loss for the community, especially when [ HIV and AIDS ] advocacy is so lacking. He was one of the advocates and we'll miss him a lot."

Plans for a memorial service have not been finalized, but Lopez, who is planning the funeral, anticipates scheduling it for the week of Jan. 2.

"We are deeply saddened by his passing. It's a tragedy," said Martinez Colon.


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