Authorities release video of crash into Arlington Heights police station, charge driver

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 11/16/2018 7:54 PM
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  • Sam O. Kerlin

    Sam O. Kerlin

  • Wooden boards cover the spot where a car -- traveling up to 104 mph at one point, officials say -- struck the new Arlington Heights police station on Sunday evening.

      Wooden boards cover the spot where a car -- traveling up to 104 mph at one point, officials say -- struck the new Arlington Heights police station on Sunday evening. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

Arlington Heights police have released a video showing the moment a 2015 VW GTI slammed into the village's new police station on Sunday.

Accompanying a Friday evening news release announcing charges against driver Sam O. Kerlin, the video shows the vehicle speeding down westbound Sigwalt Street before it left the roadway and careened into the building.

Kerlin, 44, of the 0-99 block of South Vail Avenue in Arlington Heights, was released from Northwest Community Hospital Friday, the news release said, and was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, improper lane usage, reckless driving and driving more than 35 mph over the speed limit. He was released on bail with a Jan. 7 court date in Rolling Meadows.

Police said earlier this week that the black box recovered from the vehicle registered a high speed of 104 mph.

In an interview with police at the hospital, Kerlin said he had taken cocaine and other prescription drugs before the crash, according to police Cmdr. Shawn Gyorke. Prescription drugs were found at the crash scene, he said.

Kerlin moved to Arlington Heights from suburban Atlanta in August, police said. He still has a Georgia driver's license and license plates.

A structural engineer inspected the two-level, 70,500-square-foot building on Tuesday and deemed there to be no structural damage. But it will slightly delay when the department moves in, which had been planned for this fall, officials said.

Deputy Police Chief Nick Pecora said the interior wall of the lobby that was struck has already been repaired. That work included a rewiring for building systems, such as the fire alarm. On Thursday, a worker reinstalled exterior lights on the building.

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