Two people who died in Fox Lake crash after high-speed chase identified

  • Theopolis Owens

    Theopolis Owens

 
 
Updated 10/22/2019 6:26 PM

Authorities have identified a Chicago man and a Lake Geneva woman as the two people killed Sunday night in a one-car crash in Fox Lake after leading police on a high-speed chase that began in Wisconsin.

The driver, 28-year-old Theopolis Owens of Chicago, and one of two 18-year-old passengers, Kayla Crews of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, were pronounced dead Sunday night at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, according to Lake County Coroner Howard Cooper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Cooper said his office performed autopsies Tuesday and found both died of blunt force injuries caused by the crash.

Police said Mya Janczak, an 18-year-old from Waukegan, also was a passenger in the car. She was rushed to the hospital in serious condition. Fox Lake Police Chief Jimmy Lee said Tuesday that Janczak was still in the hospital but he did not have an update on her condition.

Fox Lake police said Monday the pursuit began when a 1994 Toyota Camry was seen driving at a high rate of speed through Genoa City, Wisconsin. A local police officer attempted to make a traffic stop, but the driver refused to stop, leading to the chase that continued into Illinois.

As the vehicle traveled east on Route 173, a Spring Grove police officer responded to assist and participated in the pursuit. Fox Lake police officers were not part of the police chase, according to authorities.

Owens lost control of the car around 7:21 p.m. and it went over a guardrail just north of Route 173 near Converse Avenue in Fox Lake, Lee said. The Camry hit several trees and burst into flames.

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A passing driver and police were able to pull the three people from the car.

Lee said the Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team is investigating. The car didn't have the modern black box technology that allows investigators to determine how fast it was traveling, but Lee said he believes Owens was going faster than the posted speed limit of 55 mph.

Police said Tuesday the Camry was registered to a Zion woman.

According to Lake County court records, Owens had been charged with several crimes dating back to a misdemeanor theft charge in 2008. He was charged with three felonies, the first for robbery in 2009, for which he agreed to a plea deal and was sentenced to 18 months of periodic imprisonment, 30 days in county jail and probation.

He was charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a felon in 2012 and agreed to a plea deal in exchange for a four-year prison sentence.

In 2016, Owens was charged with residential burglary, possession of stolen property and theft of more than $500 in connection to the burglary of a house near Lake Bluff. The case against Owens was pending appeal at the time of his death Sunday.

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