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updated: 8/22/2011 4:52 PM

Aurora dentist charged in fatal I-88 crash

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An Aurora dentist accused of causing a wrong-way crash on I-88 that killed two people this month was charged Monday with two counts of reckless homicide.

William A. Howe, 43, of the 2300 block of Emerson Lane in Naperville, is accused of causing the deaths of Sher Ali Shalwani, 75, and Farzana Ali, 38, both of Elmhurst, in the Aug. 6 crash near Lisle.

DuPage County prosecutors said Howe was traveling east on I-88 when his Porsche crossed the highway and went onto the south shoulder of westbound lanes about 6:30 p.m.

Howe then turned his vehicle into oncoming traffic, authorities said, striking a 2004 Toyota Corolla head-on. Police said witnesses reported seeing cash flying out of the Porsche around the time of the crash.

Shalwani, who had been riding in the Corolla with Ali, was pronounced dead at the scene; Ali died later at a hospital. The Corolla driver, Ali's 42-year-old husband Karim Ali, was critically injured, police said.

"On Aug. 6, through no fault of their own, Sher Ali Shalwani and Farzana Ali lost their lives in a terrible car crash," State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement. "If these allegations are proven true, Mr. Howe is responsible for this senseless loss of life and will be held accountable."

Howe remained hospitalized Monday but was expected to be released and appear in bond court in coming days, prosecutors said. If convicted, he could face two to five years in prison, they said.

State records show Howe has been a licensed dentist in Aurora since 1993, and his current license is valid through September 2012. However, the telephone at his last known office apparently has been disconnected.

The crash happened as Howe faced mounting legal and financial problems. According to court records, he filed for bankruptcy several years ago and hasn't made payments on his $295,331 mortgage since March.

Howe also is due in DuPage court Aug. 30 stemming from a February DUI arrest. He also was arrested in Naperville 2008 for driving under the influence of drugs, and again in November 2010 for transportation of open alcohol, records show. In addition, he has faced allegations of domestic violence.

It was not immediately clear Monday if Howe had retained an attorney in the latest case.