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Local

St. Charles man held in city's first traffic fatality since 2010

Joshua Spudich
Joshua Spudich

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles man charged in last week’s crash that killed a 65-year-old woman remained in jail Monday on $1 million bond, according to online records from the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.

Joshua E. Spudich, 23, of the 400 block of South Second Street, faces four counts of aggravated driving under the influence, a Class 2 felony; possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony; driving under the influence of drugs, a Class A misdemeanor; driving with a revoked license, a Class A misdemeanor; and improper lane use, a petty offense.

He is expected in court Dec. 10.

Spudich suffered minor injuries in the crash, which happened about 2 p.m. Friday at North Second Street and Timbers Trail in St. Charles.

St. Charles police spokesperson Lisa Blackwell said a community service officer happened upon the head-on collision and notified the city’s dispatch and patrol units. According to police, Spudich was driving a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe south on Second Street when he drifted across the center median and struck a northbound 2004 Toyota Corolla driven by Susan Gorecki.

Blackwell said the 65-year-old St. Charles woman was wearing a seat belt. Blackwell did not have information about how fast the vehicles were traveling.

Gorecki was taken to Delnor Hospital in Geneva. Hospital staff later notified police, indicating she had died of her injuries, Blackwell said.

Kane County Coroner Rob Russell said Monday an autopsy confirmed the preliminary cause of death was directly related to the accident. Toxicology samples also were collected and sent to a forensic lab for results.

Russell, who has taken heat from county officials about being over budget, said in a statement that this accident demonstrates why his office needs to perform a thorough investigation.

“This office speaks for Susan Gorecki and her family in definitively determining the cause and manner of her death,” he said. “Some would argue it an unnecessary expense, I call it due diligence and respect. We owe it to the Gorecki family to serve Susan and her family properly through this tough time. They and all Kane County families are worth the expense of a thorough ... death investigation based on the best current national standards.”

One of Gorecki’s neighbors reacted with shock Saturday about the fatal crash.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Chandler Claps, who lives on Green Willow Lane a few doors down from Gorecki’s home. “Our hearts are with the family.”

St. Charles resident Julie Novak, who lives near the crash scene, said she doesn’t know those involved in the incident, but she reacted strongly to it.

“It’s just a tragedy all the way around,” she said, noting an acquaintance of hers was injured by an impaired driver this year. “He lived; this lady didn’t.”

North Second Street remained closed to southbound traffic until about 6 p.m. Friday. The St. Charles Police Department and Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team investigated the crash.

The city’s last fatal accident happened in 2010, Blackwell said. In that case, police reported that a 69-year-old woman was pushing her bicycle across West Main Street at Route 31 when a dump truck turning onto Route 31 hit her.

This is not the first time Spudich has been charged in Kane County. His past charges include unlawful possession of alcohol in April 2010 in St. Charles and, in Geneva, driving under the influence of alcohol in August 2010.

In November 2010, he and three other teens were accused of robbing a group in a park in unincorporated St. Charles Township. He was charged with aggravated robbery in that incident.

• Shaw Media reporter Eric Schelkopf contributed to this report.

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