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updated: 5/14/2011 11:11 AM

$1 million bail set in Lake Zurich crash

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  • Thomas Murphy

    Thomas Murphy


A man from downstate Collum has been charged in the March 24 crash at a Lake Zurich carwash that killed a Lake Barrington woman.

Thomas Murphy, 40, was ordered held on $1 million bail after appearing Friday morning before Lake County Associate Judge Raymond Collins.

Assistant State's Attorney Suzanne Willett said Murphy was traveling at 67 mph in his 2004 Jeep Cherokee and was under the influence of marijuana when he slammed into Katharine Walker-Hoffman, 56.

Walker-Hoffman was about to get into her car after having it washed at a facility at Route 12 and Honey Lake Road, Willett said, when Murphy pulled into the carwash lot from Route 12.

"She was literally holding onto her car door and about to get inside when his car struck her," Willett said.

"The defendant was moving so fast there was no time at all for her to react."

A probe by the Lake County Major Accident Investigation Task Force revealed the speed of Murphy's car at the time of the crash and other key evidence in the case, Willett said.

Police said blood tests revealed Murphy was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash. An ounce of marijuana was found in Murphy's car after the crash, police said.

Murphy told police he was in the area visiting relatives in Lake Zurich. He is charged with aggravated driving under the influence of drugs and reckless homicide and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of both crimes.

Collins allowed the $1 million bail set in the arrest warrant issued for Murphy to stand and ordered him to appear in court May 17.

Walker-Hoffman was the wife of Harper College Trustee Dick Hoffman.