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updated: 12/19/2012 5:19 PM

Mundelein man charged in crash that killed Round Lake Beach mother

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  • Mark Oelerich

      Mark Oelerich

 
 

A Mundelein man who told police he drove into oncoming traffic to "test his mortality" was indicted on first-degree murder charges for killing a 25-year-old Round Lake Beach mother.

The indictment handed down by a Lake County grand jury Wednesday against 22-year-old Mark Oelerich was for intentionally driving into oncoming traffic while heading north on Cedar Lake Road at 9:17 p.m. on Thanksgiving eve, authorities said.

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Round Lake Police Chief Michael Gillette said Oelerich told investigators after the crash that he had been "receiving signs from God that made him believe he was invincible."

"He said he had a calling that he was a fully conscious being and could not die," Gillette said Wednesday. "During his interview with officers, he indicated that he caused the accident intentionally to test his mortality."

Gillette said Oelerich was driving a family member's Cadillac SUV and crossed the centerline on Cedar Lake Road near Route 120 and struck a vehicle driven by Araceli Villasenor as it was heading south.

Villasenor and her three children inside the vehicle were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, where Villasenor was pronounced dead at 11:23 p.m.

Gillette said the three children have since been released from the hospital.

Oelerich was also treated at the hospital, but later released into police custody.

Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Ken LaRue said the state first charged Oelerich with aggravated driving under the influence. Officials presented the grand jury with first-degree murder indictments because "based on statements made by the defendant, his accident on Nov. 21 was an intentional act."

LaRue said the law prevents him from commenting further about the case or the investigation.

Oelerich was additionally indicted on three counts of aggravated driving under the influence of cannabis, LaRue said. He said more charges may be added depending additional lab results.

If found guilty of first-degree murder, Oelerich could spend up to 60 years in prison, LaRue said.

Oelerich remains in Lake County jail in lieu of $1 million bond, LaRue said, and is due back in court Jan. 8.

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