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updated: 7/27/2013 3:39 PM

Waukegan man dies in Libertyville crash

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  • Alex Petropoulos

    Alex Petropoulos
    Photo courtesy Jessica Petropoulos


A 63-year-old man who died in a two-vehicle, head-on collision Friday afternoon near Libertyville was a member of a prominent Gurnee area family. Alex Petropoulos was a huge Blackhawks fan who had a passion for stock car racing, relatives said.

The accident that killed Petropoulos took place at 12:46 p.m. on Route 21, south of Route 120, and just north of Egidi Lane, according to Sgt. Michael Keller of the Lake County sheriff's office. The crash involved a Chrysler minivan and a Chevrolet SSR, authorities said.

Petropoulos, the driver of the minivan, was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville where he was pronounced dead Friday. A formal autopsy is scheduled for Monday, Keller said.

The driver of the Chevy also was taken to Condell, where he was listed in serious condition.

Authorities on Friday were investigating how the crash occurred. They didn't return a call seeking information on Saturday.

Petropoulos was a lifelong resident of Waukegan, and recently worked as a manager at the "Nostalgia" McDonald's in Gurnee, said his daughter Jessica Petropoulos, 23, of Gurnee.

He loved the Blackhawks, and adopted a cat called Hippo around Christmas from Save-A-Pet in Grayslake, she said.

Alex Petropoulos graduated from the University of Wisconsin -- Stout, and had a passion for stock car racing since he was a young man, said his uncle Gus Petropoulos of Gurnee.

Gus Petropoulos and his late brother, Nick Petropoulos, Alex Petropoulos' father, owned the former Petropoulos Brothers Appliances in Gurnee, which drew customers from all over Lake County as a prominent place to buy appliances prior to the advent of "big-box" electronics superstores.

Alex Petropolis worked there as a sales manager until the store closed in 1989, Gus Petropoulos said. The location now holds the Community Thrift Store, he said.

"He was always interested in stock-car racing; that was a big deal with him," he said.

The family had no details about the accident, whose investigation is ongoing, he said.

"He recently started the retirement thing and all of a sudden he's gone," Gus Petropoulos said. "One split second changes everybody's life. You can't be too careful when you drive."

Alex Petropoulos had another daughter, Lara Petropoulos, 31, who lives in Michigan, and a grandson, Vance. Jessica Petropoulos said her parents divorced last year.

No funeral arrangements have been made yet, the family said.

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