Police: Mercedes speeding 135 mph when family fatally struck
The driver of a Mercedes-Benz was traveling about 135 mph when the vehicle struck and killed three Arlington Heights family members, according to details of a Des Plaines police investigation released Wednesday.
Piotr Rog, 21, who also died in the crash, was speeding on Northwest Highway the evening of Feb. 16, when his vehicle struck the Chevy Impala carrying Kevin and Anita Crawford and their 20-year-old daughter Kirsten. The family was traveling to a soccer game at the nearby Lattof YMCA.
The police department previously estimated Rog was driving 100 mph.
An accident reconstruction of the high-speed collision showed the Impala went spinning nearly 200 feet before striking a third vehicle, Police Chief Bill Kushner said. The Mercedes-Benz continued traveling 185 feet after impact, he said.
Investigators wanted to retrieve information from the so-called "black box" in the Mercedes-Benz that could have revealed more details from the crash, but the automaker has not cooperated, Kushner said.
"Mercedes is just being really, really obstructionist, so we went the old-fashioned way," he said.
Investigators used mathematical calculations and measurements from the scene to determine the speed at the time of impact, Kushner said.
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old passenger in the Mercedes-Benz has survived the crash with a traumatic brain injury. Last week, detectives talked to the Des Plaines man at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, where he's remained since the crash, but the interview did not produce information.
The survivor's most recent memory was going to work two days before the crash, Kushner said.
"Speaking with doctors and psychiatrists, it's common with that kind of brain injury," he said.
The police department is awaiting toxicology results from the driver to determine whether drugs or alcohol contributed to the crash.
The two youngest children in the Crawford family, ages 10 and 16, have since moved into their grandparents' home.