A Mokena man has been charged with DUI after police said he crossed the centerline of a two-lane road near Peotone Sunday night and crashed head-on into a car holding two Rolling Meadows women, killing them.
Margaret Simons, 72, and Suzanne Thomson, 92, were pronounced dead at Provena St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee after the crash, which occurred just before 8 p.m. Sunday, according to police.
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Joseph E. Slattery, 25, of the 20000 block of Lakeview Way in Mokena, has been charged with six counts of aggravated driving under the influence and one count of driving under the influence of drugs in connection with the crash.
Police said Slattery was driving a 2001 Chevy Cavalier on U.S. 45 a half-mile south of Route 52 near Peotone when he crossed the centerline and struck a northbound 2004 Cavalier driven by Simons. Slattery's blood-alcohol level was above .08 at the time of the crash and he was also under the influence of an opiate, Will County state's attorney spokesman Chuck Pelkie said.
A third passenger in Simon's vehicle was seriously injured in the crash but was expected to survive, police said.
Slattery and his passengers, a 24-year-old woman and 1-year-old boy, were taken to Riverside Hospital in Kankakee where they were treated for minor injuries and released, Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Bill Fuentes said.
"It is still under review. We will be taking a look at possible additional charges," Pelkie said.
As the charges stand, Slattery could face between 6 and 28 years in prison if convicted, Pelkie said.
He is being held at the Will County jail in lieu of $350,000 bail, according to prosecutors.
Slattery was also cited for improper lane usage and driving without insurance, according to police.
Court records indicate that in 2008 Slattery was cited for operating an uninsured vehicle and in 2007 he was cited for driving on a suspended license among other traffic offenses.