Driver Drug Use Cited In Fatal DuPage County Motorcycle Accident

Drivers impaired by drug use (often called “drugged driving”) is a growing problem in the Chicago area as well as throughout the nation.  The drugs typically involved vary, but common drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other opiates.  Prescription drugs – either legal or illegal – can also be involved.  Various legal and medical aspects of this traffic safety issue – as well as Chicago-area accident in which “drugged driving” was involved – are discussed on the “Vehicle Accidents Involving Drivers Under The Influence Of Drugs” page.

Additional information has become available concerning a fatal April 17, 2015 DuPage County motorcycle accident in which drug use is alleged.  The accident occurred in Burr Ridge.

That fatal motorcycle accident was originally discussed in the April 18, 2015 post titled “Fatal Motorcycle Crash In Burr Ridge.”  The motorcyclist who was killed was identified as Daniel Dacanay, 30, of Chicago.

The additional information concerning the accident as well as the alleged drug use by the driver (Fawzi Ottman, 45, of Chicago) of the Chevrolet Impala that struck Dacaney is discussed in a variety of media sources, including the November 2, 2017 The Doings article titled “Chicago man pleads guilty to DUI in DuPage County crash that killed motorcyclist” as well as the November 3 Daily Herald articel titled “Report:  Chicago man pleads guilty to being intoxicated during 2015 fatal DuPage County crash.”

An excerpt from The Doings article:

Fawzi Ottman, 45, of the 4900 block of West Potomac Avenue, entered a guilty plea to one count of aggravated DUI involving a death in exchange for DuPage County prosecutors agreeing to drop other counts. Ottman faces a prison sentence of three to 14 years and is not eligible for probation, prosecutors said.

An excerpt from The Daily Herald article with regard to the drug use:

Ottman had opiates, heroin and marijuana in his system at the time of the fatal accident.

Additional details concerning this fatal DuPage County motorcycle accident and the problem of drivers impaired by drug use can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

Pedestrian Accident In Woodridge Leads To Death Of Woman

There was a fatal pedestrian accident Tuesday night (October 31, 2017) in Woodridge.

According to authorities, the accident occurred at 7:49 p.m. at Route 53 and High Tail Drive.  This area is shown below:

scene of Woodridge fatal pedestrian accident

At that time, a woman who was on the north side of the intersection was hit by a vehicle.  As a result of the collision, the pedestrian was seriously injured.

The woman, identified as Cindy Higgins, 45, of Woodridge, was taken to Edward Hospital for treatment of her accident injuries.  She died there.

According to the DuPage County Coroner’s Office, she died from blunt force injuries.

An excerpt from the November 1, 2017 Daily Herald article on the pedestrian crash titled “Woodridge woman struck, killed by vehicle on Route 53

Police called in the Major Crash Reconstruction Team from the DuPage County Felony Investigative Assistance Team because of the severity of the crash, Hoff said. The probe continues and no charges or citations have been issued.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this fatal DuPage County pedestrian accident can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the article mentioned above as well as the November 2, 2017 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Woman fatally struck by vehicle in Woodridge.”

Pedestrian Accident In Downers Grove Seriously Injures Man

There was a pedestrian accident early Thursday morning (October 26, 2017) in Downers Grove.

Details on the accident appear to be limited at this time.  It is under investigation as to why the accident occurred.

According to information provided by the Village of Downers Grove, in an October 26, 2017 media release titled “Police Investigate Pedestrian Accident,” the accident was reported to Downers Grove Police at approximately 6:30 a.m.  The accident scene was on Butterfield Road east of Route 53.

An excerpt from the media release:

The preliminary investigation reveals that the pedestrian was walking in the westbound lane of Butterfield Road when he was struck by a vehicle.  The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and is fully cooperating with police.

The pedestrian, a 61-year-old man who was found by police on the roadway, was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital for treatment of his accident injuries.  Those accident injuries were described as being serious in nature.

The accident investigation is continuing.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this DuPage County pedestrian accident can be seen in a variety of media sources, including that found above as well as the October 26 Lisle Patch article titled “Man Hit By Car In Downers Grove, Suffers Serious Injuries.”

Distracted Driving Associated With Drivers Using Car Technologies

“Distracted Driving” continues to be a serious concern to traffic safety.  As discussed on the “Distracted Driving” page, there are many types of activities that can cause a driver to become inattentive during driving.  As seen in the statistics discussed, distracted driving continues to be significant, despite various efforts and laws that have been enacted in Illinois and other states in order to reduce its frequency.

Two of the sources of “distracted driving” listed on the above-mentioned page is operating dashboard technologies and operating car entertainment systems.

Recently, the AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report concerning infotainment and other dashboard technologies and their impact on the incidence of distracted driving.

The study is discussed in a variety of media sources, including the October 5, 2017 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Technology crammed into cars worsens driver distraction.”  Notable excerpts from the article include:

But Jake Nelson, AAA’s director for traffic safety advocacy and research, said drivers testing all 30 of the 2017 model year cars and light trucks took their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel while using infotainment systems. The test drivers used voice commands, touch screens and other interactive technologies to make calls, send texts, tune the radio or program navigation all while driving.


Programming a destination into in-vehicle GPS navigation systems was the most distracting activity, taking drivers an average of 40 seconds to complete the task. At 25 mph (40 kph), a car can travel the length of four football fields during the time it takes to enter a destination. Previous research has shown that drivers who remove their eyes from the road for just two seconds double their risk for a crash.

The study also mentions what is commonly believed to be the most frequent form of driver distraction, that of texting.

Additional details regarding distracted driving and car technologies being a source of driver inattention can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

“Drugged Drivers” Accidents And Associated Injuries

On the “Vehicle Accidents Involving Drivers Under The Influence Of Drugs” page, various aspects of vehicle accidents due to a driver being impaired by drug use are discussed.  Accidents in which the driver is impaired by drug use have been increasing in nature, as seen in various statistics.  While the type and level of impairment caused by this drug use varies because of many factors, many accidents in DuPage County as well as the greater Chicago area have involved a “drugged driver.” Accidents involving “drugged drivers” have caused a wide range of serious injuries, including injuries that have directly or indirectly (after a time period) led to fatalities.  The page discusses several serious Chicago-area crashes that have involved “drugged drivers,” including those in Riverside, Prospect Heights, and a few in Chicago.  These accidents included a variety of drugs, and the accidents resulted in a few fatalities.

In the post titled “Fatal Wheaton Crash Involving Car Traveling At Speed Of 135 mph,” a September 30, 2017 fatal “rear-end” collision in Wheaton is discussed.  New information has subsequently been released with regard to the driver (Brian Thunderkick) and his actions.

An excerpt from the Daily Herald article of October 6, 2017, titled “Petition:  Suspect driving 135mph in fatal Wheaton crash tested positive for barbiturates“:

The petition indicates the DUI kit performed on Thunderkick is not complete. A test of Thunderkick’s urine, however, came back positive for barbiturates, the petition states.

Investigators discovered after getting a search warrant for the car’s “black box” that the Camaro was traveling at 135 mph upon impact, the petition states.

During an interview with Wheaton police, the petition alleges, Thunderkick told officers that he “wanted to open it up” and that he had the gas pedal “all the way down.”

Additional details regarding “drugged driving” as well as the September 30 fatal Wheaton crash can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

Fatal Wheaton Crash Involving Car Traveling At Speed Of 135 mph

There was a fatal car accident Saturday morning (September 30, 2017) in Wheaton.  The accident involved one car, driving at a very high rate of speed, “rear-ending” another car.

First responders went to the accident scene at approximately 11:15 a.m.

An excerpt regarding the crash, from the Daily Herald article of October 2, 2017, titled “Cops:  Warrenville man driving 135 mph at time of fatal Wheaton crash“:

Authorities said Brian Thunderkick, of the 2S000 block of Pierre Curie Lane, was driving about 135 mph when he crashed into a vehicle driven by Erika Villagomez. His bail has been set at $150,000.

Police responded about 11 a.m. to the crash scene on Butterfield Road just east of Naperville Road and found the victim’s car, a Honda Accord, completely engulfed in flames. Villagomez was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the article, Thunderkick was injured and hospitalized.  He was later charged with reckless homicide.

An excerpt regarding the crash, from the DuPage County press release of October 2, 2017 titled “$150,000 Bond For Man Charged With Reckless Homicide,” quoting DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin:

“On Saturday, despite the heroic efforts of citizens and law enforcement, Erika Villagomez’s life came to a horrible, fiery end all because Mr. Thunderkick allegedly wanted to see how fast he could drive,” Berlin said. “I offer my sincerest condolences to Erika’s family and friends as they grieve their loss. Mr. Thunderkick’s outrageous behavior and apparent disregard for public safety, as alleged in this case, will not be tolerated and will be met with the full force of the law. I would like to thank the Wheaton Police Department and the DuPage County Accident Reconstruction Task Force for their efforts on this tragic case. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorney Matthew Dambach for his work in preparing a strong case against Mr. Thunderkick.”

“Our sincerest condolences go out to the family of this young victim whose life was lost due to the alleged egregious criminal behavior of Mr. Thunderkick. Our investigators will continue to work tirelessly with State’s Attorney Berlin and his assistants to ensure justice is served in this case.”

Additional details and possible updates concerning this fatal DuPage County high-speed crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the article and press release mentioned above as well as the article of October 1 titled “Woman killed in Wheaton crash.”

Fatal Elmhurst Motorcycle Accident At North Avenue and Berteau Avenue

There was a fatal motorcycle accident Monday night (September 25, 2017) in Elmhurst.  The accident involved a collision between a motorcycle and a SUV.

Details on this motorcycle accident appear somewhat limited at this time.  The cause of the crash does not seem to be publicly disclosed at this time.

The collision occurred at the intersection of North Avenue and Berteau Avenue.  First responders went to the accident scene at 9:10 p.m.

The motorcyclist was seen to have massive head injuries.  He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.  He was identified by the DuPage County Coroner’s Office as Ivanny Mendez-Perez, 28, of Berwyn.

The accident investigation is being conducted by the Elmhurst Police Department, DuPage County Accident Reconstruction Team, and DuPage County Coroner’s Office.

Additional details and possible updates can be seen in variety of media sources including the September 26, 2017 Chicago Tribune article titled “Berwyn motorcyclist killed after collision with car in Elmhurst” as well as the September 26 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Motorcyclist killed in Elmhurst crash.”

Woman Dies Following Lisle Pedestrian Accident On Maple Avenue

There was a fatal pedestrian accident Friday evening (September 22, 2017) in Lisle.  The accident involved a woman being struck by a car.

According to information provided by Lisle Police, police were called to the accident scene at 8:23 p.m.  The accident scene was at Maple Avenue and Benedictine Parkway.

An excerpt from the Chicago Sun-Times article of September 25, 2017, titled “Woman fatally struck by vehicle, causing multi-vehicle crash in Lisle“:

Witnesses said a woman was walking across Maple from north to south when she was struck by a motor vehicle in the eastbound curb lane of Maple. The vehicle had a green light, according to witnesses, police said.

The driver of the vehicle that struck the pedestrian, a 69-year-old Naperville woman, told police she never saw the woman walking in the crosswalk until her vehicle struck her.

The pedestrian struck by the car was identified as  Brandeis C. DeBroeck, 26, of Lisle.  She was taken to Edward Hospital in Naperville for treatment of her accident injuries.  She died that evening.

A secondary accident occurred when two other vehicles were unable to stop in time to avoid a collision.  No injuries occurred during that collision.

No citations have been issued with regard to the pedestrian accident.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this fatal DuPage County pedestrian accident can be seen in a various media sources, including the article mentioned above as well as the September 25 Daily Herald article titled “Lisle woman dies after being struck by car.”

Naperville SUV-Motorcycle Collision Leads To Death Of Rider

A motorcyclist has died following a Saturday (September 9, 2017) SUV-motorcycle collision that happened in Naperville.  As often seen in fatal Illinois motorcycle accidents, this accident appears to have allegedly involved a motorist turning left into the path of an oncoming motorcycle.

According to Naperville Police, the crash happened at 75th Street and Naperville/Plainfield Road.  A 2011 Acura MDX SUV, traveling north on Naperville/Plainfield Road, was attempting to turn left onto westbound 75th Street when the SUV struck a motorcyclist riding a 2006 Honda motorcycle south on Naperville/Plainfield Road.  The accident happened at 6:15 p.m.

The motorcyclist, identified as Calabria M. Taber, 21, of Maple Park, was taken to Edward Hospital for treatment of accident injuries, then transferred to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.  She died on Sunday.

An excerpt from the September 11, 2017 Naperville Patch article titled “Motorcyclist Dies After Naperville Crash“:

The driver of the Acura, a 17-year-old Naperville boy, was not hurt in the crash. Police said he was issued a citation for failure to yield turning left.

The accident remains under investigation by the Naperville Police Department.  Those who may have information regarding the crash are asked to call the Naperville Police Traffic Unit at (630) 305-5379 or to email [email protected]

Additional details and possible updates concerning this fatal DuPage County SUV-motorcycle accident can be seen in a variety of media sources including the Naperville Patch article mentioned above as well as the September 11 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Woman dies one day after Naperville motorcycle crash.”

“Head-On” Collision In Oakbrook Terrace Injures Five People

There are various reasons that “head-on” collisions occur.  As discussed on the “DuPage County Accidents Involving ‘Head-On Collisions’” page, there can be many reasons why such crashes occur.  While many such accidents involve a car “crossing the center line” and colliding with an oncoming vehicle, other such crashes involve (substantial) driver impairment.

This driver impairment can be caused by many factors; however, driving after drinking (i.e. “drunk driving”) continues to be a leading factor.

This driver impairment has led to various “wrong-way driver” accidents in the Chicago area, including many that have led to serious injuries and fatalities.

Two drivers have been charged with DUI regarding a recent accident in Oakbrook Terrace, which involved a “head-on” collision.  The accident occurred on Sunday, August 27, 2017.

An excerpt regarding the collision, from the Chicago Tribune article of August 31, 2017, titled “Head-on crash in Oakbrook Terrace leads to DUI charges – for both drivers” as well as the August 30 Daily Herald article titled “Both drivers in Oakbrook Terrace crash charged with DUI.”

An excerpt from the Chicago Tribune article:

Authorities said Sean Maroney, a 20-year-old Ohio resident, was driving into oncoming traffic on the wrong side of Roosevelt Road when he crashed head-on into a car driven by a Lombard woman.

Both Maroney as well as the other driver and three other vehicle occupants were hurt and hospitalized for treatment of their accident injuries.  These accident injuries were considered to be “non-life threatening” in nature.

Additional details can be seen in the sources mentioned above.