Identity of Fatal Crash Victim Released; Suffered Pre-Crash Medical Event on Neville Rd Near Darrell Rd, Unincorporated Wauconda

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Michael Gaul of Arlington Heights
Michael Gaul of Arlington Heights.

Lake County authorities on Tuesday January 7, 2020 released the identity of a crash victim who died on Neville Road as 54-year-old Michael Gaul of McHenry as the man found dead in his SUV Friday, January 3, 2020 after the SUV he was driving left the roadway and struck a tree near Wauconda.

Michael Gaul, of Arlington Heights and recently McHenry, was the senior vice president of Walker Bros. The Original Pancake House.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said Gaul was driving his 2016 Lincoln MKC westbound on West Neville Road at about 11:00 a.m. Friday January 3, 2020, when the vehicle went off the road, hit the tree then rolled over back and came to rest on the roadway west of Darrell Road.

Police and firefighter/paramedics from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Wauconda Fire District responded about 11:00 a.m. Friday January 3, 2020 to a report of a serious one-vehicle crash on West Neville Road just west of Darrell Road, Unincorporated Wauconda.

Lake County Sheriff’s deputies arrived and located a single-vehicle crash. The driver was the sole occupant of the SUV, and was deceased at the scene. Lake County Sheriff’s Technical Crash Investigations Team and the Lake County Coroner’s Office responded to the scene immediately after the crash.

An autopsy conducted Tuesday January 7, 2020 determined Gaul suffered a fatal medical event prior to the crash, Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper said.

“We have been in close contact with Mr. Gaul’s family and our deepest condolences go out to them during this difficult time. This is truly a tragedy.”

— Dr. Howard Cooper

Toxicology results are pending, as is standard after a fatal crash, and the crash remains under investigation by the Lake County Coroner and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Michael Gaul of Arlington Heights
Michael Gaul of Arlington Heights.

Michael Jerome Gaul Sr., was born June 24, 1965 in Arlington Heights to Jerome H. and Patricia (Bakota) Gaul. Michael was a 1983 graduate of Buffalo Grove High School, where he played on the football team. On October 14, 1989, he married Jill Lynn Decker at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Palatine.

Michael was formerly from Island Lake and Arlington Heights, and recently was a resident of McHenry (since 2012). For the past 34 years, Michael Gaul was employed at Walker Bros. Original Pancake House, achieving the position of Vice President and recently managing the new Schaumburg location at 18 South Roselle Road.

Michael worshipped with his family at The Church of Holy Apostles in McHenry.

In his leisure time, he enjoyed taking care of his lawn, as well as collecting coins and working on cars. Talented with repairs, Michael also enjoyed the challenge of fixing things. He was an avid fan of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Survivors include his loving wife of 30 years, Jill, four children, Kelly, Katelyn, Michael Jr. and Nicholas Gaul; and five sisters, Pam Gaul, Melissa (Patrick) Johlie, Amy (Tim) Callahan, Bonnie (Frank) Adley, and Megan Anderson.

Michael was preceded in death by his parents. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday, January 9, 2020, at Justen Funeral Home & Crematory, 3700 Charles J. Miller Road, McHenry, IL 60050. Visitation will resume Friday, January 10, at the funeral home, from 9:30 a.m. until the 10:30 a.m. funeral blessing in the funeral home. Interment will be private. For information, please call the funeral home at 815-385-2400, or visit



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