A year later, repercussions of fatal Des Plaines crash remain
A year after the crash, its repercussions remain.
The family of Arlington Heights residents Kevin and Anita Crawford and their 20-year-old daughter Kirsten continues to grieve, their lives taken in the collision on Northwest Highway in Des Plaines.
And Piotr Rog -- the 21-year-old driver blamed for the high-speed crash near Lattof YMCA -- also left behind family members after the crash Feb. 16, 2017.
The grandparents of the Crawford's two younger surviving children, Hailee and Christian, declined to be interviewed about the anniversary of the crash, citing the need for privacy as they continue to mourn.
Rog's family and his passenger who survived could not be reached.
Effects of the crash also have influenced training for first responders in Des Plaines. The fire department uses last year's crash as a key example when training firefighters how to respond to accidents with multiple serious injuries, Fire Chief Alan Wax said.
Though the fire department responds to serious, high-speed crashes along several miles of the Jane Addams Tollway, Wax believes the Crawford case will remain important in teaching firefighters about the worst accidents.
"Certainly, this was unusual," he said.
"I would hope that in anybody's career you don't see so many deathly critical patients at one time."
The crash was complicated because the Crawford's Chevy Impala and Rog's Mercedes-Benz caught fire and both vehicles had to be cut open to retrieve victims.
Then firefighters had to maintain control of the scene as concerned neighbors and gym visitors surrounded the site. Wax also noted the help of neighboring fire departments that responded to the scene.
"This will be one of those you look back on and talk about in training and informally around the kitchen table," Wax said.
"Every firefighter has those calls in their career that they'll remember, and for the firefighters who were on that scene, this will be one of those calls."