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updated: 9/24/2013 4:42 PM

Driver charged with DUI in Oak Brook crash that killed passenger

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  • William Decero

      William Decero

 

A Downers Grove man was drunk when his vehicle crashed over the weekend in Oak Brook, killing his passenger, prosecutors said Tuesday.

William Decero, 49, of the 5000 block of Washington Street, was charged with aggravated drunken driving and held on $750,000 bail.

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Authorities said Decero had a blood-alcohol concentration greater than the legal threshold of 0.08 early Sunday when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a wooded area along Spring Road, south of 31st Street in Oak Brook.

Decero's 48-year-old passenger, Thomas Fitzsimons of Hinsdale, was pronounced dead at the scene. Prosecutors said both men had been wearing seat belts and were still inside the vehicle when police responded to a neighbor's 911 call shortly after midnight.

Decero was treated for injuries and taken into custody upon his release from a hospital Monday. He faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted.

DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin offered his condolences to the victim's family and said the case was a reminder of the dangers of drinking and driving.

"Drunk driving crashes are 100 percent avoidable," he said. "The next time you or someone you know is considering getting behind the wheel of their car after they have been drinking, search the Internet for images of the consequences of drunk driving and ask yourself, 'Is this how I want to end the evening or possibly my life?'"

Oak Brook Police Chief James Kruger said a crash reconstruction team assisted in the investigation.

"This is a tragedy that strikes all communities all too often," he said in a statement.

Bail was set Tuesday by DuPage Judge Elizabeth Sexton. Decero would have to post $75,000 to bond out. His next court date is Thursday in front of Judge Daniel Guerin.

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