Five Children Dead After A Tragic Wrong-Way Head-On Car Crash in Illinois
A tragic incident robbed an Illinois family of young, innocent lives when they were almost completely wiped out during an accident on the early morning of July 31st. The accident killed seven people.
According to WLS-TV in Chicago, the only person to survive the collision that occurred on Interstate 90 near Hampshire, Illinois, was a 32-year-old man named Thomas Dobosz. He was taken to Loyola University Medical Center and was listed in critical condition.
Dobosz, his wife, four of their children, and another child were riding a Chevy van that he was driving westbound on Interstate 90 at two in the morning. While 22-year-old Jennifer Fernandez from Carpentersville was driving a gray Acura when it collided with the van in a head-on collision. Just after the collision, both vehicles were engulfed in flames.
According to the officials, they do not know yet why Fernandez was traveling in the incorrect direction.
Fernandez was dead at the scene, as well as Lauren Dobosz and her five children – two 13-year-old girls, 7- and 6-year-old boys, and a 5-year-old girl. To protect their privacy, the police did not release the names of the children that were involved in the accident.
Interviewed by WLS about the heartbreaking accident, David Moreno who lives next to the family in the Chicago suburb of Rolling Meadows shared, “When you find out it is people you’ve known for many years, it kind of hits a little harder. Losing your family in a split-second like that is not going to be easy for anybody.”
He added, “My understanding is one of the eldest daughters had a friend with them. I know it’s going to be devastating for the community just to know that it was somebody that people have known.”
Jean Kohlberg who taught the children at Central Road Elementary School said, “It’s just an awful tragedy, and I just can’t even express it. We would see them all the time and they would wave to me every time. It’s just very sad right now.”
Kohlberg said, “We’re going to miss them in our school. They were such cute little shining faces every day, and they’re not going to be there now.”
Kenny Felton, a co-worker of Lauren Dobosz also said, “She loved her kids and her husband. That was her life. He’s going to have a tough road ahead when he finds out what happened and just wishes them all the best, and anything we can do, we’ll be here for them. She was very instrumental in doing stuff for cheer and football, you could tell it was her life being a mom.”
The Rolling Meadows Police Department (RMPD) announced the launch of the “RMPD Hope Fund” to help the relatives of the collision victims pay for final expenses. The GoFundMe effort has already raised $32,000 toward its $100,000 goal. More than $24,000 had been donated to the second fundraising launched by Lauren Dobosz’s parents.
Eva and Lonnie Johns wrote on the GoFundMe: “We are at a loss for words for this tragic event. We have lost our beautiful daughter, Lauren, and our precious grandkids. We are praying for the health of our son-in-law, who is in ICU at the hospital. We ask that you keep our family in your prayers during this time.”
Oriole Park in Chicago served as the location for a community vigil in support of the family.