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Driver Charged in Fatal Beecher Crash Pleads Not Guilty in Will County Court

Wed August 23 2017 4:34 pm
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CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports on courthouse appearance of Sean Woulfe, facing Reckless Homicide charges.

Sean Woulfe, age 25, is facing reckless homicide charges for causing a fatal crash on Monday July 24, 2017 in Will County that killed a pregnant woman and her three children as she drove them to Bible camp pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, August 23, 2017. Sean Woulfe’s attorney also filed a motion to reduce his client’s bond from $1 million to $250,000, according to Will County court records.

The felony charges allege that Woulfe, a resident of Beecher, was speeding in excess of 20 mph over the 55 mph limit when he ran a stop sign, causing the crash that killed Lindsey Schmidt, 29, and sons Caleb, 1; Weston, 4; and Owen, 6, all of Beecher, prosecutors said.

Lindsey Schmidt, 29, who was driving the Subaru, and Caleb, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Will County coroner’s and sheriff’s offices.

Lindsey Schmidt was pregnant at the time of her death, driving her three children to Bible camp. Two of the counts charge Woulfe with the death of her unborn child, according to the Will County sheriff’s office.

Her other two sons were transported to St. Margaret Hospital in Hammond, Indiana, according to the sheriff’s office, then transferred to Comer Children’s Hospital.

Weston Schmidt died Tuesday, July 25, and Owen Schmidt died Thursday July 27.

Woulfe was transported from the crash scene to St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights. He was transferred to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn for minor reconstructive surgery involving a large cut on his arm.

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The Beecher family was in a 2014 Subaru Outback that was struck by Woulfe’s 2002 Chevrolet S10 pickup at 8:38 a.m. on Monday July 24, 2017 in unincorporated Beecher at Corning Road and Yates Avenue.

The pickup truck was eastbound on Corning Road when Woulfe allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign at Yates Avenue. Northbound Yates Avenue had no stop sign when the Subaru Outback was driven northbound across Corning Road, and was struck forcefully on the driver’s side, causing it to roll over into a field.

Chief Judge Richard Schoenstedt signed a warrant for Woulfe’s arrest Tuesday, August 22, 2017, charging him with 16 counts of reckless homicide, and he was arrested at his home without incident in the morning. Woulfe remains in custody on $1 million bond.

Woulfe, who formerly lived in Manteno, was scheduled to appear by closed circuit video Wednesday morning, but an electronic connection problem forced him to arrive at court, where he appeared in a wheelchair for formal presentation of charges.

The felony charges allege that Woulfe was speeding in excess of 20 mph over the 55 mph limit when he ran a stop sign, causing the crash that killed Lindsey Schmidt, 29, and sons Caleb, 1; Weston, 4; and Owen, 6, all of Beecher, prosecutors said.

All of the charges against him are felonies, and Woulfe faces up to 10 years in prison.

A hearing on the motion to reduce bond is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday August 25, 2017 before Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes. Wolfe’s arraignment hearing is scheduled for Thursday, September 14, 2017.

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