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updated: 12/20/2011 10:22 PM

Two years later, former Wheaton man charged in fatal crash

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  • Kevin McCartney

      Kevin McCartney

 

A former Wheaton man was charged Tuesday in connection with a crash that killed one of his friends more than two years ago.

Kevin A. McCartney, 21, was charged with leaving the scene of an Oct. 5, 2009, accident that killed 18-year-old Gregory Hoctor of Wheaton.

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Police said a "lengthy and detailed follow-up investigation" revealed Hoctor was not driving during the crash, as they initially believed.

Rather, the charges allege, it was McCartney who was behind the wheel of a 1998 Volkswagen GTI when it went off Dufree Road about 3:30 a.m. and slammed into a tree.

Around 5 a.m., police found Hoctor alone and unconscious inside the vehicle, which was registered to McCartney, authorities said at the time. Hoctor died of massive head trauma about 12 hours later at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield.

Wheaton Deputy Chief Tom Meloni declined to comment Tuesday on what evidence led to charges more than two years later. He said the arrest stemmed from "a lot of investigation and analysis of all the evidence in the case."

"We're glad that we were able to close the case by arrest and hopefully provide some level of closure for the victim's family," Meloni said.

McCartney was arrested when he reported to DuPage County court for an unrelated case stemming from a March 5 arrest on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to signal.

His attorney, Brian Telander, said McCartney is a student at Southern Illinois University's Carbondale campus and was home for Christmas.

He said his client was aware he had been under investigation for more than a year but did not know a warrant was out for his arrest.

"These charges came as a total surprise to him and his family," Telander said. "He's a very nice young man and an excellent student."

Telander had no immediate comment on the allegations.

"My understanding is there were no eyewitnesses," he said. "Hopefully the state will start tendering information as to how they intend to prove this."

If convicted, McCartney could face probation or four to 15 years in prison, prosecutors said. He was being held in the county jail on $350,000 bail, pending a bond hearing Wednesday morning.

Hoctor was a 2009 graduate of Wheaton Warrenville South High School. His family could not immediately be reached for comment.

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