$750,000 Bond For Driver Charged in Death of Downers Grove North High School Teen Beth Dunlap

Joseph Kucharski, felony aggravated DUI-alcohol/drugs causing death suspect
Joseph Kucharski, felony aggravated DUI-alcohol/drugs causing death suspect.

Bond was set Tuesday at $750,000 for a Naperville man charged in the death of Downers Grove North High School student Beth Dunlap. CBS Chicago’s Gilma Avalos reports.

On Tuesday February 26, 2019, bond was set at $750,000 for Naperville resident Joseph Kucharski, age 51, who is charged with Felony Aggravated DUI Alcohol/Drugs Causing Death. Kucharski is also charged with the upgraded charged of Reckless Homicide for the death of 17-year-old Beth Dunlap, DuPage County prosecutors said Monday morning. Kucharski is accused of causing the death of Downers Grove North High School student Beth Dunlap, who was walking in a marked crosswalk in conjunction with the “walk” signal near Main Street and Grant Street directly in front of Downers Grove High School when she was hit by Kucharski’s vehicle at about 11:00 a.m. Tuesday February 19, 2019.

Kucharski was southbound on Main Street driving his vehicle on the wrong side of the street after running a red light, according to the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.

Police searched his hotel room after the criminal crash and found two crack pipes, crack cocaine and other drugs.

Joseph Kucharski has an extensive criminal history going back to 1985 with court records also show multiple traffic citations.

In 1991, Kucharski pleaded guilty in DuPage to misdemeanor theft and was sentenced to six months or court supervision.

In 1992, Kucharski was charged in DuPage County as a felon from justice. Court records allege Kucharski fled to Georgia after being charged with the possession, manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance.

The DuPage County charges were dropped in 1993 when Georgia officials decided not to extradite Kucharski.

In June 1993, Kucharski was pulled over by police in Naperville when he was observed driving 49 mph in a 25 mph zone. He was arrested for alleged DUI when he failed field sobriety tests. The charges were dropped for an unknown reason.

In 2012, Kucharski paid a $140 fine after being stopped in Naperville for driving 74 mph in a 45 mph zone.

Kucharski’s bail hearing was 9 a.m. Tuesday February 26, 2019 in DuPage County courtroom 4012.

Joseph Kucharski, felony aggravated DUI-alcohol/drugs causing death suspect
Joseph Kucharski, felony aggravated DUI-alcohol/drugs causing death suspect.

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A Naperville man is facing drunk driving charges after allegedly running a red light and critically injuring a student Tuesday morning in front of Downers Grove North High School.