Petition: Suspect driving 135 mph in fatal Wheaton crash tested positive for barbiturates
Prosecutors are asking a DuPage County judge to drastically increase the bail for the 62-year-old Warrenville man charged in connection with a deadly crash Saturday in Wheaton.
In a petition filed Thursday, prosecutors asked Judge George Bakalis to increase Brian Thunderkick's bail from the $150,000 set by Judge Joseph Bugos to $2 million in light of new information in the case and the likelihood of several additional charges.
The petition asserts that:
• An off-duty River Grove police officer captured the fiery crash on video.
• The victim, 22-year-old Erika Villagomez of Elgin, was alive and screaming for help as flames engulfed her car.
• Thunderkick tried to flee but was held down by the off-duty officer.
• A urine sample taken from Thunderkick tested positive for barbiturates.
• Thunderkick has a 1973 conviction for voluntary manslaughter and a lengthy history of traffic citations under his previous name of Brian Arns. Details of the manslaughter conviction were not included in the petition.
Police responded about 11 a.m. Saturday to the crash scene on Butterfield Road just east of Naperville Road and found the victim trapped inside her burning Honda Accord.
Authorities said Villagomez was screaming for help as officers and civilians tried to rescue her. She died before she could be pulled from the wreckage.
According to the petition, the off-duty officer who captured the crash on video held Thunderkick down until help arrived.
The officer said Thunderkick sped past him in a black Chevy Camaro on the right shoulder of westbound Butterfield Road near Leask Lane before crossing back into traffic and rear-ending Villagomez's car.
The petition indicates the DUI kit performed on Thunderkick is not complete. A test of Thunderkick's urine, however, came back positive for barbiturates, the petition states.
Investigators discovered after getting a search warrant for the car's "black box" that the Camaro was traveling at 135 mph upon impact, the petition states.
During an interview with Wheaton police, the petition alleges, Thunderkick told officers that he "wanted to open it up" and that he had the gas pedal "all the way down."
On Sunday, police searched Thunderkick's home on the 2S000 block of Pierre Curie Lane and found multiple pill bottles for prescriptions made out to his ex-wife and a note on his nightstand that read "if you need Norco call me," the petition states.
Thunderkick is charged with reckless homicide, punishable by two to five years in prison. Based on the continuing investigation, however, prosecutors say they intend to file several more serious charges.
Those charges may include aggravated driving under the influence of drugs causing a death, punishable by three to 14 years in prison; attempted leaving the scene of an accident involving a death, punishable by three to seven years in prison; and aggravated battery, punishable by two to five years in prison.
Prosecutors say the possible aggravated battery charge stems from allegations that Thunderkick shoved a woman who tried to help him and prevented him from leaving the scene.
Bakalis will hear the state's petition during a hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Prosecutors sought to have Thunderkick's bail revoked until the hearing, but Bakalis denied the request.