Police can't interview crash survivor, get black-box data in deadly Northwest Highway crash

  • The scene of a February crash in Des Plaines that killed four people, including three members of an Arlington Heights family.

    The scene of a February crash in Des Plaines that killed four people, including three members of an Arlington Heights family. Courtesy of Marian Petruta

  • The scene of the fatal accident in Des Plaines that killed four people last month.

    The scene of the fatal accident in Des Plaines that killed four people last month. Courtesy of Marian Petruta

  • Piotr Rog

    Piotr Rog

  • Kevin Crawford, right, Kirsten Crawford, back row second from right, and Anita Crawford, third from the right in red, were killed in a collision on Northwest Highway in Des Plaines in February. The other children pictured were not in the car. They are Hailee Crawford, far left, and Christian Crawford, middle with glasses.

    Kevin Crawford, right, Kirsten Crawford, back row second from right, and Anita Crawford, third from the right in red, were killed in a collision on Northwest Highway in Des Plaines in February. The other children pictured were not in the car. They are Hailee Crawford, far left, and Christian Crawford, middle with glasses. Courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago.

 
 
Updated 3/25/2017 7:59 AM

Des Plaines police are encountering setbacks in the investigation of a deadly crash last month that killed three family members from Arlington Heights and a man from Des Plaines.

The lone survivor of the crash on Northwest Highway by Lattof YMCA in Des Plaines had been in a medically induced coma until last week, Police Chief Bill Kushner said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Though the 26-year-old man is finally conscious, investigators have been unable to interview him at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Kushner said. The man underwent surgery, but no further medical information has been disclosed.

The police department wants to piece together the moments before a speeding Mercedes-Benz driven by 21-year-old Piotr Rog struck a Chevy Impala, killing Kevin and Anita Crawford and their 20-year-old daughter, Kirsten, on Feb 16. Rog also died in the crash.

Investigators found the so-called black box in the Mercedes-Benz, which could contain information such as the speed of the vehicle at the moment of impact, but they've had difficulty extracting the data.

"We're having difficulty with getting Mercedes of America to help us," Kushner said. "Let's just leave it at that."

Meanwhile, a controversy developed as two agencies disputed which was at fault for the failure to revoke Rog's driver's license four years ago.

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The Illinois secretary of state's office on Friday afternoon conceded it appears Cook County did notify the state of one of Rog's traffic tickets in February 2013 after earlier having disputed that in a published report.

The ticket for a stop-sign violation would have cost Rog his license for one year, spokesman Dave Druker said. But whether a revocation would have prevented Rog from driving is hypothetical, he said.

Jalyne Strong, a spokeswoman for the Cook County circuit court clerk's office, provided documentation on Friday afternoon indicating the secretary of state's office was notified of the ticket conviction in March 2013. Strong said the court system acted properly.

Of the documents the clerk's office produced Friday, Druker said, "I think they described it as proof. I don't know that it meets that standard."

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