Two dead in Schaumburg after driver fleeing crash strikes second vehicle
A car fleeing the scene of a minor crash in Schaumburg slammed into another vehicle just a few blocks away Monday night, killing both drivers, authorities said.
The fatal crash occurred at 7:06 p.m. at the intersection of Springinsguth and Hartmann roads, police said.
Erin Semerad, 39, of Schaumburg was pronounced dead at the scene from injuries suffered when her vehicle was struck by a car speeding from a separate hit-and-run crash, police said.
Semerad's red 2006 Mitsubishi Galant was heading east at a stop sign on Hartmann when she attempted to turn left onto northbound Springinsguth, according to police. The driver's side of her vehicle was struck by a blue 2009 Honda Civic being driven south by 19-year-old Michael J. Owsiany of Elk Grove Village, police said.
A witness described the Honda as traveling fast before the crash, police said. Schaumburg Police Chief James Lamkin said Semerad may have underestimated the speed at which the Honda was coming toward her when she attempted to make a turn in front of it.
Owsiany was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where he was pronounced dead, Schaumburg police Cmdr. Dave Wermes said.
Owsiany's passenger, Ashley E. Trenholm, 23, of Schaumburg also was taken to Lutheran General, where she was listed in critical condition Tuesday, Wermes said.
Owsiany's vehicle had just been involved in a less serious accident before the deadly collision, police said.
According to police, the driver of a 2011 Scion said he was heading south on Springinsguth at 7:05 p.m. and had slowed to turn left onto Dedham Lane when the back of his vehicle was clipped by Owsiany's car. The Honda then continued south quickly, the driver told police.
Investigators are working to determine how fast Owsiany's vehicle was traveling, as well as whether any other contributing factors such as drugs or alcohol might have been involved.
Trenholm, the surviving passenger of Owsiany's vehicle, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday on a charge of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol that she pleaded guilty to last December in downstate McLean County. She'd been charged in connection with an October 2013 crash that left her friend and passenger Jesse Sternberg of Schaumburg paralyzed, according to the Bloomington-based Pantagraph newspaper.
"We are still investigating what happened with Monday's accident," her attorney, Jeff Hall, said Tuesday. "What we do know is that tragedy has followed Ashley home, now as a passenger in a vehicle. She is a wonderful mother to her 3-year-old son and we are hoping for her swift recovery."
Hall said Owsiany and Trenholm had begun dating a few months ago.
"Michael was present at Ashley's sentencing hearing last week and he was supportive of Ashley, being the shoulder she could cry on, and it is incredibly sad that another accident has caused so much pain for all involved. On behalf of Ashley's family, our hearts go out to the Semerad and Owsiany families for their losses," he said.
Schaumburg police are being assisted in the investigation of Monday's fatal crash by the Major Case Assistance Team Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team.
This is the second serious crash along that stretch of Springinsguth this month. Monday's fatal collision occurred near a house on the 1000 block of Springinsguth Road that was struck by a car about 3:20 a.m. Oct. 4. The 2013 Nissan Sentra ended up in the home's living room, but no injuries were reported. The driver fled the scene and has not yet been identified.