A 21-year-old man died and two other men were airlifted from the scene of a car wreck early Sunday morning near Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.
Police found open containers of alcohol in the car and believe it may have played a role in the crash, DeKalb Police Cpl. Joseph Espy said. He said it will take time to process toxicology results and could not say when they would be available.
The car the three victims were traveling in rear-ended a semitrailer about 4 a.m. in the 500 block of West Lincoln Highway, officials said. According to Espy, the driver of the truck, stopped for a red light, had just started moving with the green light when the victims’ vehicle, a white 2003 Hyundai XG350L, hit his truck.
He felt something but kept driving for about 2-3 blocks before he noticed a problem, pulled over and got out to inspect his truck, Espy said. The Hyundai was still wedged underneath his rear end.
Luis Hernandez, 21, of the 800 block of West Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, was pronounced dead at the scene, Espy said; he was driving the westbound car and was wearing a seatbelt. The two passengers, both riding in the backseat, were transported in critical condition to Kishwaukee Community Hospital in DeKalb, DeKalb Fire Department Capt. Jeff McMaster said.
One of those passengers, Hernandez's 29-year-old brother, of the same address in DeKalb, was later airlifted to another, unidentified hospital, Espy said. The third passenger was a 33-year-old man whose hometown was unknown but is a relative of Hernandez. Espy said he did not know if the two men in the backseat were wearing seatbelts.
None of the three victims were students at the university, officials said.
The Hyundai was "traveling at a high rate of speed," McMaster said, and the four-door sedan had Illinois license plates.
Firefighters worked for twenty minutes to extricate the two survivors and were treating the operation as a "rescue" when they reached the male in the front seat, McMaster said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
No citations were issued to the truck driver, Espy said, and the crash is still under firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com