Police, firefighters and paramedics from Arlington Heights responded about 1:11 a.m. Monday, May 17, 2021 to a report of a crash with injuries in the block of 600 South Reuter Drive, and another report of a crash at New Wilke Road and Kirchhoff Road in Arlington Heights.
Upon arrival police and firefighters and paramedics found two patients in a Toyota 4Runner had crashed in their vehicle, which was up near the back of the house. The driver was outside of the vehicle, and was transported by Arlington Heights Fire Department paramedics to Level 1 Trauma Center Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge with life-threatening injuries. The driver, a 29 year-old male, later died of his injuries suffered in the crash
The passenger, age 33, was transported with apparent non-life-threatening injuries to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights. The passenger was treated and released.
Through the course of the ongoing investigation of the fatal crash, the Arlington Heights Police Department determined that the driver of the 2021 Toyota 4Runner involved in the single-vehicle crash was an off-duty Chicago Police Officer. Still further, shortly before the driver of the 2021 Toyota 4Runner entered the jurisdictional boundaries of Arlington Heights, an on-duty Rolling Meadows police officer, in a marked police vehicle, observed the 2021 Toyota 4Runner traveling at a high rate of speed on Algonquin Road, just under two miles from the crash scene. The Rolling Meadows police officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop of the vehicle, but the driver in the 2021 Toyota 4Runner fled the stop, heading northbound on New Wilke Road from Algonquin Road. The Rolling Meadows police officer did not pursue (chase) the vehicle once it turned onto northbound on New Wilke Road from Algonquin Road, according to the Arlington Heights Police Department.
Also, according to the Arlington Heights Police Department, speed was clearly a factor in the crash, and impairment was also suspected, but not initially confirmed.
MCAT-STAR (Major Case Assistance Team – Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction) is assisting Arlington Heights police investigators with the crash investigation. An extended on-scene crash investigation since the crash occurred, and Kirchhoff Road was closed at New Wilke Road. Lanes were reduced to one lane on the southbound side of New Wilke, and northbound New Wilke was closed to through traffic at Central Road.
The on-scene investigation was completed about 11:15 a.m. while the entire investigation is ongoing. Hillside Towing of Arlington Heights used a rotator crane tow truck to lift the Toyota out of the backyard over an undamaged fence and onto the ground on the parkway on the east side of Wilke Road. Northbound New Wilke Road becomes Wilke Road north of Kirchhoff Road.
The destroyed vehicle was towed away on a Hillside flatbed truck, and the roadway and damaged fence were cleared by the Arlington Heights Public Works Department about 11:50 p.m. Monday.
The driver of the large SUV was apparently driving at a high rate of speed northbound on New Wilke Road and hit a utility pole and crashed through a fence on the north side of Kirchoff Road. The SUV then went airborne or tumbled end over end and landed three lots north of where the SUV went through the fence. The SUV came to rest at the back of a house on Reuter Drive. A chain link fence separating the second lot from the third lot where the SUV landed was not damaged. Also, immediately north of the curb where the SUV left the roadway, a wood fence and a chain link fence were destroyed and abrasion marks were visible on a tree about 12 to 15 feet above the ground.
The utility pole snapped through at the bottom part of the pole and the lower portion was located on the north side of the intersection while most of the snapped pole was still standing supported by power lines and later a ComEd truck on the south side of the intersection. ComEd reported five or fewer customers are without power at around 6:00 a.m.
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