Wrong-Way Crash In Clarendon Hills Leads To Two Fatalities

A fatal wrong-way crash occurred early Sunday (October 20, 2019) morning in Clarendon Hills.  This wrong-way crash involved a SUV that was allegedly driving in the wrong direction when it collided with a Volkswagon Jetta.  This Clarendon Hills collision happened on Route 83, to the north of the 55th Street intersection.

This wrong-way crash led to the death of the driver of the Jetta.  This driver (Marko Boskovic, 27, of Revere, Massachusetts) died at the accident scene.  A passenger (Laura Uribe, 26, of La Grange) died from her accident injuries later that day.  As well, another passenger in the Jetta was critically injured.  A fourth vehicle occupant was hurt with injuries described as minor injuries.

The driver of the SUV, identified as Juan Rodea-Cruz, 25, was also injured and taken to the hospital.

An excerpt concerning this crash involving a SUV traveling in the wrong direction, from the October 21, 2019 Chicago Tribune article titled “Chicago man charged with DUI in Clarendon Hills fatal head-on crash…“:

A Chicago man was driving drunk and on the wrong side of the road in Clarendon Hills when he drove head-on into another vehicle, killing two of its occupants, DuPage County prosecutors said Monday.

Juan Rodea-Cruz, 25, of the 4200 block of West Kammerling, appeared at a Monday bond hearing where prosecutors said he has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence following the early Sunday collision that took place on Illinois Route 83.

According to NBC Chicago (in an October 21, 2019 article with video) Rodea-Cruz was charged with Aggravated DUI Causing Death, a Class 2 felony, as well as one count of Aggravated DUI Causing Great Bodily Harm, a Class 4 felony.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this fatal wrong-way crash leading to DUI charges can be seen in the articles mentioned above.

As seen in many Chicago-area wrong-way driver accidents, such crashes often lead to one or more fatalities.  Due to the unexpected nature of a driver traveling in the wrong direction, as well as other factors, such accidents are often difficult for the driving traveling in the proper lane to avoid.

DuPage County Drunk Driving Alleged In Fatal Pedestrian Accident

DuPage County drunk driving continues to pose a significant traffic safety problem. As discussed in various posts throughout this site, largely seen in “DuPage County DUI” category, DuPage County drunk driving has caused many accidents involving injuries. Drivers who are driving while alcohol-impaired have been involved in many serious accidents of various types, including “head-on collisions” and vehicles being “rear-ended” – sometimes at high speeds.

On Tuesday (February 19, 2019) there was an alleged DuPage County drunk driving accident. This fatal pedestrian accident happened in Downers Grove and involved a car that struck a pedestrian. The accident occurred outside of Downers Grove North High School at the intersection of Main Street and Grant street. The driver was later charged with felony aggravated DUI.

An excerpt concerning this alleged DuPage County drunk driving accident, from the February 22, 2019 NBC Chicago article (with video) titled “Man Charged With Felony DUI After Allegedly Striking Student With His Car,” regarding the Downers Grove student, Beth Dunlap, hit by the car:

Dunlap was struck by a car while crossing Main Street outside the school around 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to a statement issued by DuPage County police. 

Dunlap was within a marked crosswalk and had a “walk” signal, according to police, when Kucharski’s vehicle allegedly crossed into the oncoming lanes and entered the intersection on a red light, polcie said. 

Dunlap was injured during this pedestrian accident and on Friday (February 22) it was disclosed that she “would not recover from her injuries.”

The driver of the car was identified as Joseph Kucharski, 51, of Naperville. As seen in the NBC article, he faces aggravated DUI charges as well as one count of felony reckless driving.

Additional details regarding this fatal pedestrian accident allegedly involving DuPage County drunk driving can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the article mentioned above as well as the February 23 Daily Herald article titled “DUI, reckless driving charges issued after Downers Grove student suffers ‘unrecoverable injuries.”

Naperville Four-Car Crash At 75th Street and Naper Boulevard

There was a Naperville four-car crash on New Year’s Day (January 1, 2019) after which a driver was charged with DUI.

According to Naperville Police, this Naperville four-car crash happened at 75th Street and Naper Boulevard, and resulted in three people being injured.

An excerpt regarding this DuPage County crash, from the January 3, 2019 Naperville Sun article titled “Woman charged with DUI in 4-car pileup that injured 3 people: Naperville police“:

The preliminary investigation indicates Sara A. Ricker, 49, of the 5300 block of Newport Street, was driving a blue Nissan SUV at a high rate of speed about 5:20 p.m. Jan. 1 when she hit a vehicle stopped for a red light, causing a chain-reaction crash involving four vehicles, police said.

Three people were injured and taken to hospitals for treatment of their accident injuries. Their injuries were considered to be non-life-threatening in nature. One driver declined medical attention.

Another excerpt regarding the crash, from the Naperville Patch article of January 6, titled “DUI for Lisle Woman Accused Of Causing 4-Car Pileup in Naperville“:

Police charged Ricker with driving under the influence of alcohol and other traffic violations in connection with the four-car crash. She was taken into custody and later released on bond.

Additional details regarding this Naperville four-car crash can be seen in a variety of media sources including those mentioned above.

On this site, accidents in which DUI charges have been applied are seen in posts in the “DuPage County DUI” category. As seen in those posts, these crashes have resulted in many serious injuries and some fatalities. While there have been many efforts made to reduce drunk driving, crashes caused by drunk driving continues to be a significant if not substantial traffic safety problem. In addition to this type of impaired driving, there is also the growing threat of driving while drug impaired, which is further discussed on the “Vehicle Accidents Involving Drivers Under The Influence Of Drugs” page.

Drug-Impaired Motorists And Their Vulnerability To Getting In Accidents

Drug-impaired motorists continues to be a growing problem with regard to traffic safety.  As discussed on the “Vehicle Accidents Involving Drivers Under The Influence Of Drugs” page, various statistics indicate that the frequency of drug-impaired driving is both increasing and at worrisome levels.  In addition to these statistics, there have been many Chicago-area traffic accidents – including those in DuPage County – in which a driver is found to be impaired by drug use.  Some of these accidents have led to one or more fatalities.

The level of impairment among drug-impaired motorists can vary significantly, depending upon various factors such as the amount of drugs consumed as well as their type.  Additionally, if more than one drug is used – or alcohol is consumed near the time of the drug use – the level of impairment can be magnified.

There was an Elgin crash Sunday (September 23, 2018) after which Illinois State Troopers administered the opioid overdose antidote Narcan to the driver.

An excerpt regarding the crash, from the September 24, 2018 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Troopers use opioid antidote to revive driver after Elgin crash“:

Peter Thomas Klingelhofer, 38, of Wood Dale, was driving a black Chevrolet west on interstate 290 near Mill Road when the car left the roadway and barreled into a ditch, according to Illinois State Police. Responding troopers found Klingelhofer slumped over and unresponsive in the car.

After getting inside the vehicle, the troopers gave Klingelhofer two doses of Narcan before successfully resuscitating him, state police said.

According to the Illinois State Police, Klingelhofer was taken to Elmhurst Hospital for medical treatment.

He was later arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and also charged with other traffic violations.

Additional details regarding this crash can be seen in the article mentioned above as well as the September 24 Park Ridge Patch article titled “Cops Save Man Who Overdosed, Drove Into Ditch.”

Drug-Impaired Driving And Its Frequency In Fatal Vehicle Accidents

Drug-impaired driving continues to be a significant and growing problem regarding traffic safety.  There have been many Chicago-area vehicle accidents in which one of the drivers was drug-impaired.

Drug-impaired driving, with a specific focus on DuPage County, is further discussed on the “Vehicle Accidents Involving Drivers Under The Influence Of Drugs” page.  Additionally, some of these “drugged driver” accidents have been summarized on this site in posts found under the “DUI” category.

Chicago area drug-impaired drivers who have been in accidents have used a variety of drugs.  Among the most common drugs used are marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and meth.  The effect these drugs have on driver impairment varies on many factors, such as the amount of drug used, the type of drug, the administration of the drug, and whether there was more than one drug used.  As well, if alcohol was also consumed in addition to the drug use, the amount of driver impairment can be significantly increased.

The Wall Street Journal published an article on June 1, 2018 titled “Driving Fatality Tests Find Opioid, Pot Use Rising.”  The article discusses various findings from a recent study published by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

An excerpt from the Wall Street Journal article:

More than half of all positive-testing deceased drivers in 2016 had marijuana, opioids or both types of drugs in their bodies, the report said. The presence of pot has increased substantially in the past decade, it found, more so than the presence of opioids.
In 2016, about 20% of the drug-positive drivers were positive for some opioid, compared with 17% in 2006. In 2016, 41% of the drug-positive fatally injured drivers were positive for marijuana, compared with 35% in 2006.
Additional details and possible updates concerning this drug-impaired driving issue, and the accidents in which drivers have used drugs, can be found in the various sources mentioned above.

“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.

Prison Sentence For Driver In West Chicago Fatal DUI Crash

A December 2014 fatal DUI crash in West Chicago that resulted in the death of Antonio Alvarez, 37, of Warrenville, has been discussed on this site in the following two posts:

While this site typically focus on DuPage County accidents and the civil actions – typically personal injury lawsuits – that accompany injuries stemming from such injuries, this crash is notable in many regards.

Two excerpts from the March 27, 2017 Chicago Tribune article (“Man gets 5-year sentence for fatal DUI crash in West Chicago“) regarding the prison sentence for the driver, Omar Montoya-Medina, 31, of West Chicago:

A West Chicago man who was driving drunk at almost 100 mph when he struck and killed another motorist was sentenced Monday to five years in prison.

also:

Assistant State’s Attorney Demetri Demopoulos asked for a 10-year prison term for Montoya-Medina and said the crash was wholly preventable.

“Once again, drinking and driving has destroyed a family,” the prosecutor said. A blood test taken after the crash showed Montoya-Medina’s blood-alcohol was 0.16 percent, which is double the legal limit, Demopoulos said.

Additional details concerning the fatal accident and its consequnces can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

Series Of Hit & Run Crashes In Villa Park And Lombard In DuPage County

There was a series of hit & run crashes on Sunday (January 22, 2017) involving one driver, who has been charged with DUI.  These DuPage County crashes happened in Villa Park and Lombard.

The driver, identified as Lawrence Sieber, 62, of Glen Ellyn, has been charged with multiple offenses.  An excerpt from the January 23, 2017 Glen Ellyn Patch article titled “Drunken Driver Involved in 4 Crashes, Critically Injures 1“:

In addition to the aggravated DUI charge, Sieber also is charged with leaving the scene of an accident, aggravated fleeing and eluding and aggravated reckless driving. All of the charges are Class 4 felonies.

One of the crashes that happened in Villa Park happened at approximately 4:50 p.m. At that time, according to prosecutors from the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office, Sieber ran through a stop sign at Ardmore and Jackson and his truck “t-boned” another vehicle that was in the intersection.  The other driver was critically injured in the crash, and remains hospitalized.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this series of DuPage County hit & run crashes can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the Glen Ellyn Patch article mentioned above, as well as the January 23 abc7chicago.com article titled “Man charged with DUI in Villa Park hit-and-run crash.”

The Recent Increase In Driving While Intoxicated On Drugs

Many DuPage County accidents involve drunk drivers, and many of these accidents cause serious – if not fatal – accident injuries.  On this site, various DuPage County DUI accidents are summarized in posts under the “DuPage County DUI” category.  However, it should be noted that driving after drug use is also a growing concern, and has been seen in at least two recent Chicago-area accidents.  The intoxication that occurs before (and in some cases during) driving can take many forms, including injecting, snoring, and inhaling drugs, as well as sniffing and “huffing” of chemicals.

The abc7chicago.com article (with video) of December 27, 2016, titled “Man did heroin, other drugs before Riverside crash, police say” discusses the increase in so-called “drugged driving.”  An excerpt:

According to a recent national survey on drug use and health, 10 million people, age 12 or older, admitted to taking illicit drugs and driving during the year prior to being surveyed.

Officer Brian Greenenwald, a drug recognition expert, has made more than 500 DUI arrests in his 10-year career with the Riverside Police Department. He told ABC7 Eyewitness News more and more, the drivers he pulls over are under the influence of drugs – not alcohol.

“Heroin, cocaine, cannabis, meth, as well as prescription drugs,” Greenenwald said.

Another accident involving alleged drug use by the driver, for which the driver has been charged, happened on Friday night (December 23, 2016) in Riverside.  The incident is discussed in the abc7chicago.com article mentioned above, as well as the December 27 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Police:  Man did heroin, other drugs before Riverside crash.”  An excerpt:

A Southwest Side man admitted to using heroin, smoking marijuana and ingesting Xanax while driving before being involved in a crash Friday evening in in west suburban Riverside, police said.

The articles highlighted above provide further details regarding the accident, and felony charges and citations received by the driver.

Illinois State Police Car Collision On I-355 In Addison, Illinois

There was a collision in which a car struck a parked Illinois State Police (ISP) car early Sunday morning (August 28, 2016) on I-355 in Addison.

According to prosecutors, the collision happened on southbound I-355, north of Army Trail Road, at 12:44 a.m.

At that time – despite the police car having its emergency lights and “arrow stick” on, and being parked on the right shoulder of the expressway – the woman crashed into the parked car.

Illinois State Trooper Klecka, who was sitting in the car at the time of the crash, suffered injuries that were considered to be non-life-threatening in nature.

The woman, identified as Natasha Mister, 31, of Maywood, was charged with several traffic offenses, including one felony count of aggravated DUI causing great bodily harm.

An excerpt from the August 29, 2016 Lisle Patch article titled “Illinois State Trooper Injured When Drunk Woman Crashes Into Squad Car on I-355:  Prosecutors“:

An investigation revealed Mister had a blood alcohol content above .15.

Additional details regarding this DuPage County crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the Lisle Patch article mentioned above, as well as the August 29 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Woman charged with DUI after crashing into state trooper.”