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.”