Driver who killed family drank heavily, sexually harassed woman before crash
A young driver who killed himself and three Arlington Heights family members in a February crash spent the hours before the collision drinking heavily, sexually harassing a young woman and hitting a bar patron, according to a Des Plaines police investigation.
The 84-page report into the deaths of Kevin and Anita Crawford and their 20-year-old daughter, Kirsten -- who died after Piotr Rog, 21, of Des Plaines slammed his Mercedes-Benz into their vehicle on Northwest Highway -- determined the crash was a reckless homicide. No charges will be filed because the driver died, according to the report released Thursday.
And while the report casts a picture of irresponsibility on Rog and his 26-year-old passenger who survived, it also shows a community seeking to help during tragedy.
A nearby resident heard the collision, which he described as "the loudest thunder he had ever heard," and rushed to the scene while calling the police. When he saw the mangled vehicles, he grabbed a crowbar tool and attempted to pry open the driver's door on the Crawford's Chevrolet Impala.
Meanwhile, others used fire extinguishers to quell a blaze in the Mercedes' engine, and one person opened a door to rescue the driver.
Police and firefighters soon arrived. When a Prospect Heights firefighter pulled Rog from the car, a nearly empty bottle of cinnamon whiskey fell out, according to the report.
Investigators later went to Rog's house, where family members told them he and a friend had left for dinner in the afternoon. They said Rog had been in good spirits, despite a recent battle with depression, according to the report. It said he had been prescribed three medicines to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Family members showed detectives a Snapchat video of Rog and his friend at a bar, according to the report.
The next day, a woman told detectives she and her husband saw Rog at Miner Street Tap in Des Plaines hours before the crash. The couple told investigators another woman had asked them to "save" her from a man who had been harassing her.
That woman confirmed she'd been at the bar. She told detectives Rog poked her, continually asked to arm wrestle and later said he planned to have sex with her, prompting her to seek help from the couple.
Rog later punched another patron after the bartender kicked him and his friend out of the bar. Surveillance video shows Rog and his friend spent about 25 minutes in the bar and were served one drink, according to the report.
They then went to Tap House Grill, but they were never served a drink because a bartender kicked them out for harassing female customers, according to the report.
Within minutes, Rog drove his car at 135 mph and struck the Crawfords' vehicle as they headed to a family soccer game at Lattof YMCA. A toxicology report showed he had nearly triple the legal limit of alcohol in his system.
His passenger could not recall the night when he awoke from a coma weeks later; his earliest memories were from a day before the crash, according to the report.
Mayor Matt Bogusz, the city's liquor commissioner, has not determined whether any bar owners will be penalized. Bob Winter, an attorney for the Crawford family, did not immediately return a phone message Monday inquiring whether a lawsuit will be filed.
The Crawford's two youngest children, ages 10 and 16, now live with their grandparents in Mount Prospect.