Police: Hit-and-Run Tow Truck Driver Turned Left in Front of Motorcyclist in Fatal Crash on Irving Park Rd

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Joseph Sarb, charged with  Leaving the Scene of an Accident Causing Death (SOURCE: DuPage County State's Attorney's Office)
Joseph Sarb, charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident Causing Death (SOURCE: DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office).

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Bensenville Chief of Police Daniel Schulze announced today, Thursday, August 3, 2023 that bond has been set for a Des Plaines resident accused of leaving the scene of a fatal accident in which he was allegedly involved. Joseph Sarb, age 42, of the 1100 block of East Thacker Street in Des Plaines, appeared at a bond hearing this morning where Judge Daniel Guerin set bond at $​250,000 with 10% to apply. Sarb is charged with one count of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Causing Death, a Class 1 Felony.

Police, firefighters, and paramedics from Bensenville responded about 10:14 p.m., Monday July 31, 2023 to a fatal traffic crash on Irving Park Road near Walnut Avenue in Bensenville. Upon arrival, police officers found the victim, Daruisz Zalewski, 46, of Elmwood Park lying unresponsive on Irving Park Road next to his motorcycle.

Zalewski was immediately transported by Bensenville Fire Department paramedics to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

During a traffic crash investigation, officers identified Sarb as the man allegedly driving a tow truck that was involved in the crash that killed Zalewski. Allegedly Sarb was driving a tow truck westbound on Irving Park Road and made a left turn into a business parking lot. As Sarb turned the tow truck into the parking lot, Zalewski, who was traveling eastbound on Irving Park Road, crashed into the back of Sarb’s truck. Zalewski was ejected from his motorcycle, and landed on Irving Park Road. Allegedly, after the crash, Sarb continued to drive through the business’ parking lot, got back on to Irving Park Road, and fled the scene. Bensenville police officers took Sarb into custody from his residence without incident on Wednesday, August 2, 2023.

“The allegation that Mr. Sarb failed to stop and help a man who had just been knocked off his motorcycle and instead fled the scene are extremely troubling. Additionally, leaving the scene of an accident in which you were involved that left a fatally injured man lying on a dark street, as alleged in this case, is not only illegal, it is morally reprehensible. I extend my sincerest condolences to Mr. Zalewski’s family and friends as they grieve this senseless, terrible loss. I thank the Bensenville Police Department for their outstanding work in the identification and apprehension of the defendant in this case as well as DuPage MERIT Major Crash Reconstruction Team for their work in piecing together what allegedly happened that night. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Alexandria Levan and ​Jaclyn McAndrew for their work in preparing a strong case against the defendant.”

— DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin

“When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, the law requires that you stop, report the accident and render aid, if possible. Had Mr. Sarb complied with the law, the penalties imposed would have likely been less severe than the charges he is facing now. Our condolences go out to the Zalewski family for their tragic loss. The investigators and State’s Attorney Bob Berlin’s office working together did an outstanding job identifying Mr. Sarb and bringing him to justice.”

— Bensenville Police Chief Daniel Schulze

Sarb’s next court appearance is scheduled for August 31, 2023 in DuPage County Court for arraignment in front of Judge Guerin.

“Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

— DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin


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