Prosecutors investigating 'possible bond violation' for Naperville man in fatal crash

  • Joseph Kucharski is free on bail, charged with nine counts of aggravated DUI and two counts of reckless homicide.

    Joseph Kucharski is free on bail, charged with nine counts of aggravated DUI and two counts of reckless homicide. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 5/20/2019 7:15 PM

A Naperville man charged in the February crash that killed Downers Grove North junior Beth Dunlap has been free on bond for just five days and DuPage County prosecutors say they're already "investigating a possible bond violation."

Sheriff's officials said Joseph Kucharski, 51, posted 10 percent of his $750,000 bail on Wednesday and was released from custody.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

On Monday, prosecutors announced the investigation into the possible violation but said they will not comment further until Kucharski's May 28 court date.

While on bail, Kucharski is prohibited from purchasing, renting or driving any vehicle, and is ordered to wear a drug-detecting patch if he is not in inpatient treatment and an alcohol-monitoring device on his ankle. He also is prohibited from contacting the Dunlap family.

Kucharski's new attorney, Rick Kayne, was not immediately available for comment.

Kucharski has been indicted on nine counts of felony aggravated DUI and two counts of reckless homicide. If convicted, he faces three to 14 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Kucharski was asleep at the wheel and coming down from a four-day cocaine bender at 10:55 a.m. Feb. 19 when he drove through the intersection of Main and Grant streets, striking and fatally injuring Beth.

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Details of the crash and the days leading up to it were initially disclosed at a Feb. 26 hearing at which DuPage Judge Liam Brennan reduced Kucharski's bail from $5 million, on his original warrant, to $750,000.

Prosecutors allege Xanax and a prescription medication used to help opiate abusers wean themselves were found in Kucharski's car. A search of the hotel room where he was staying found two crack pipes, cocaine and an open bottle of vodka, reports said.

Authorities said Kucharski was driving south on Main Street after running a red light when the crash occurred.

Beth, who had late arrival privileges, and a teacher were preparing to cross to enter school when Kucharski's vehicle struck Beth, authorities said. She died days later and her organs were donated.

Kucharski failed a field sobriety test and his blood alcohol content was determined to be .031, authorities said.

Kucharski has a criminal history dating to 1985 that includes two DUI arrests, a conviction for possessing cannabis in Georgia and a battery conviction.

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