Police: Man charged in Mount Prospect crash that killed 3 was going 108 mph

  • The deadly two-vehicle crash on March 7 in Mount Prospect left wreckage scattered across Rand Road.

      The deadly two-vehicle crash on March 7 in Mount Prospect left wreckage scattered across Rand Road. Steve Zalusky | Staff Photographer

  • Family are grieving the loss of Georgina Perez Gomez and her husband Francisco Flores Rodriguez of Des Plaines, along with their adult son, all of whom were killed in a two-vehicle crash in Mount Prospect on March 7.

    Family are grieving the loss of Georgina Perez Gomez and her husband Francisco Flores Rodriguez of Des Plaines, along with their adult son, all of whom were killed in a two-vehicle crash in Mount Prospect on March 7. Courtesy of Danfer Flores

 
Updated 4/9/2021 6:46 AM

A Des Plaines man has been charged in a Mount Prospect crash last month that killed three members of a Des Plaines family.

Mount Prospect police said Thursday that Garrett M. Kowalski, 25, of the 500 block of North Third Avenue, ran two red lights before crashing into the victims' vehicle at 108 miles per hour on March 7 at Rand and Mount Prospect roads. Police also said a blood sample revealed the presence of a controlled substance, ketamine, in his blood.

 

The Cook County state's attorney's office approved three counts of reckless homicide, three counts of aggravated driving under the influence of drugs and one count of possession of a controlled substance, police said in a news release.

Garrett M. Kowalski
Garrett M. Kowalski

Kowalski's bond hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Rolling Meadows courthouse.

Kowalski was the driver of a gold Ford Escape that struck a white Honda Accord. All three occupants of the Accord -- 58-year-old Francisco Flores Rodriguez of Des Plaines, his wife, Georgina Perez Gomez, 59, and their son, Francisco Javier Flores Perez, 31 -- were killed.

Police said evidence from the scene, witness statements and surrounding businesses' camera footage indicated Kowalski ran the red light at Wolf Road and continued on Rand Road until he drove into the intersection of Mount Prospect Road, running the red light and striking the Honda's driver's side.

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A crash data recorder indicated the Ford was traveling about 108 mph when it struck the Honda, police said.

Kowalski was hospitalized for his injuries.

Seen in this collage photo are Georgina Perez Gomez of Des Plaines, along with her son Francisco Javier Flores Perez, left, and her husband, Francisco Flores Rodriguez, right, all of whom were killed in a two-vehicle crash in Mount Prospect on March 7.
Seen in this collage photo are Georgina Perez Gomez of Des Plaines, along with her son Francisco Javier Flores Perez, left, and her husband, Francisco Flores Rodriguez, right, all of whom were killed in a two-vehicle crash in Mount Prospect on March 7. - Courtesy of Danfer Flores,

After the crash, Des Plaines police responded to a 911 call at Kowalski's apartment for an unsecured front door.

A Des Plaines officer reported seeing powdered drugs in plain view, which led Mount Prospect police to obtain a search warrant, Mount Prospect police said. The Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Laboratory determined the drug was ketamine, and Kowalski's blood sample from the hospital also tested positive for ketamine, police said.

After the lab results were obtained, Mount Prospect police asked Kowalski to surrender, which he did Thursday.

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