Driver in Wrong-Way Crash That Killed 7 Had 0.164% BAC

Family of 6 and a teenage friend were killed in July tragedy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2022 4:30 PM CDT
Updated Nov 15, 2022 1:19 AM CST
UPDATE Nov 15, 2022 1:19 AM CST

The Illinois woman who drove the wrong way on I-90 on July 31, killing two adults and five children in the van she hit, was drunk, police say. The woman was also killed in the crash. The victims were a family of six (the father, who was initially hospitalized after the crash, ended up succumbing to his injuries) as well as a 13-year-old family friend, the AP reports. Wrong-way driver Jennifer Fernandez, 22, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.164%, more than twice the legal standard for intoxication.

Aug 1, 2022 4:30 PM CDT

A mother, four of her children, and another child were among seven people killed in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 90 in Illinois early Sunday, police say. Illinois State Police say the family's blue Chevrolet van was traveling westbound in McHenry County, northwest of Chicago near the Wisconsin border, around 2am when it was hit by an Acura TSX sedan traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes, NBC Chicago reports. The victims were identified as van passenger Lauren Dobosz, 31, and five children: two 13-year-old girls, a 7-year-old boy, a 6-year-old boy, and a 5-year-old girl, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Police say both vehicles were engulfed in flames and all six of the van's passengers died at the scene, as did the Acura driver, 22-year-old Jennifer Fernandez. The van's driver, 32-year-old father Thomas Dobosz, was hospitalized with serious injuries. Police are trying to determine why Fernandez, a Carpentersville resident, was going the wrong way. The Dobosz family's friends and neighbors in Rolling Meadows say they're devastated by the accident and they will do their best to support Thomas Dobosz after the deaths of his wife and children, ABC7 reports. "Losing your family in a split-second like that is not going to be easy for anybody," says neighbor David Moreno.

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"My understanding is one of the eldest daughters had a friend with them," he says. "I know it's going to be devastating for the community just to know that it was somebody that people have known." Lauren Dobosz was a cheer coach for the Oriole Park Falcons. Dobosz, her children, and their friend "will be missed dearly by the Falcon Family and dear friends," the team wrote in a GoFundMe fundraiser. ABC7 reports that a second crash occurred at the crash scene, injuring one person, after a semi-truck stopped to let a medical helicopter land and a second semi-truck rear-ended it after failing to stop in time. (More Illinois stories.)

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