Prosecutors use photos to show horror of street-racing crash
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Photographs of mangled automobiles told the story of a horrific Jan. 27, 2011, collision just west of the intersection of Golf and Bartlett roads that claimed the lives of two people and led to the arrest of a Bartlett accountant on charges of street racing and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Cook County prosecutors showed the photos to Rolling Meadows jurors Wednesday as the trial of 39-year-old Timothy Salvesen entered its second day.
Prosecutors say Salvesen and another driver, 32-year-old Joseph Paliokaitis of North Aurora, were racing westbound on Golf Road in Hoffman Estates from about Knollwood Drive to just west of Bartlett Road. There, where the two westbound lanes merge into one, the race concluded at 7:37 p.m. with a fiery crash that killed 62-year-old Migdalia Bloch.
Bloch, a mother from Hoffman Estates, was driving home from work, eastbound on Golf Road, when prosecutors say a 2003 Jaguar S-type sedan driven by Paliokaitis moved into the oncoming eastbound lane as it passed a van going west in the left lane. Witnesses say the driver of the Jaguar sped past the van at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour. When the Jaguar tried to return to the westbound lane, it fishtailed, flipped and crossed into the path of Bloch, who was driving a 2001 Hyundai Tiburon east on Golf Road.
Prosecutors say Bloch, who was known as Mickie, was killed instantly. Paliokaitis was ejected from his car, which burst into flames. He was pronounced dead at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates.
Adam Marak, a Hoffman Estates police officer investigating the accident, testified Paliokaitis' Jaguar was unrecognizable.
"The whole front was practically missing," said Marak.
Marak further testified that the collision involved no other vehicles, including Salvesen's blue, 2002 Subaru Impreza. Pointing out that no physical evidence links Salvesen to the crash, his defense attorneys insisted he had nothing to do with the accident.
Authorities charged Salvesen after Josh Nilsson, who was also driving west on Golf Road at the time, said he witnessed the cars racing. Stopped behind Salvesen and Paliokaitis at a Barrington Road stoplight, Nilsson used his cellphone to snap a photo of Salvesen's license plate, and he shared the image with police who used the information to locate Salvesen at his home.
Bartlett police officer Tammy Shultz testified that she arrived at Salvesen's home later that night to question him about the accident. She said Salvesen told her, "I wasn't involved in an accident, but I witnessed one."
Salvesen told her the other vehicle came up behind him at a high rate of speed, drove around his car and the van into oncoming traffic, lost control and went into a ditch. Salvesen said nothing about the Jaguar striking another car, Shultz said.
Closing arguments are scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday in Rolling Meadows.
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