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Article updated: 12/14/2011 4:59 AM

No charges yet in fatal Route 12 accident near Lake Zurich

By Lee Filas

No charges have yet been filed in the Route 12 crash near Lake Zurich that killed a 10-year-old boy and injured his twin brother and father, as Lake County officials work to piece together what happened.

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said in a news conference Tuesday it's too early to determine charges against any driver in the accident. He also said it is unclear if drugs were involved.

The surviving twin brother, Nicholas Shirey, is in critical condition at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. The boys' father, Scott P. Shirey, 49, was released from Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital on Tuesday.

Griffin Shirey, 10, of Island Lake, was killed when a large Ford pickup carrying roofing shingles struck the back seat portion of the Lincoln sedan where he was riding. The car was hit while making a left turn from southbound Route 12 onto Old McHenry Road at 5:41 p.m. Monday, officials said.

The violent impact tossed the truck, which was traveling at a high rate of speed, onto its side and into two other vehicles waiting at the traffic light, Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Christopher Thompson said.

The driver of the truck, Matthew Loiacano, 29, of unincorporated Antioch, was questioned by police and released Tuesday, Curran said. Curran said preliminary witness statements from the scene said the truck ran a red light prior to the accident.

"It's still too early in the investigation for charges to be filed," he said. "We will look at all the blood work and urine samples, determine speeds and review witness statements, then take it all to the state's attorney's office for charges when the investigation is complete."

Initially, Loiacano indicated some past drug use, sheriff's officials said Monday, that could have played a role in the accident. However, Curran backed off that statement Tuesday, saying "with 100 percent honesty, there is no indication at this point that drugs were involved in the accident."

Emergency crews rushed Griffin Shirey, his twin brother and their father to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Thompson said.

Griffin Shirey was pronounced dead at the hospital, while Nicholas Shirey was airlifted to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge in critical condition with internal injuries Monday.

Loiacano was taken to Centegra Hospital -- McHenry following the crash, Thompson said, along with a second occupant of the truck.

Loiacano submitted to blood and urine tests -- after some initial hesitation -- to determine if alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash, Thompson said.

He was taken to the Lake County Sheriff's Office early Tuesday and questioned about the crash. Curran said during the news conference that he had been released.

A third occupant of the truck, and three victims in two other vehicles involved in the crash, refused treatment at the scene.

The roadway was closed until about 10:30 p.m. while sheriff's officials investigated.

"I cannot imagine the unspeakable grief the Shirey family is undergoing at this moment," Curran said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this incredibly painful time."

Emergency crews from Lake Zurich, Barrington, Fox River Grove, Mundelein and Round Lake responded to the scene.

The intersection where the crash occurred is the same crossing where Lora Hunt plowed into a Lake Zurich motorcyclist while she was polishing her nails in May 2009.

Hunt was sentenced to 18 months behind bars while not working or traveling to her job after crashing into the motorcyclist who had stopped at a red light on Route 12 at Old McHenry Road.

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