Illinois: Will County Sheriff working to determine the extent that booze, along with a huge dose of stupidity, played in death of Daniel Lietke, who laid down in road after drinking and was run over; drinking driver fled

Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas

Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas



VERNON HOWARD charged with fleeing scene of accident

The Will County Sheriff’s Office reports that it is currently investigating a hit and run fatal accident involving a pedestrian and a vehicle which occurred in Rockdale, IL on Monday night about 10:55pm.  The accident was located on Larkin Avenue, just north of Mound Road.  The victim has been identified as Daniel Lietke, age 31, of the 300 block of Bruce Road in Lockport.

On Monday night Rockdale Police responded to a call regarding a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle in the northbound lanes of Larkin.  Rockdale police contacted the Sheriff’s Office for assistance in investigating the accident.

Witness’ statements indicate that Mr. Lietke was walking along the roadway with a friend when he walked out onto the road and proceeded to lie down on his back in the middle of the lane.  Shortly after, a vehicle traveling north avoided the subject.  The driver of that vehicle stopped a short distance away and was witness to a second vehicle, which was also traveling northbound, run over Lietke.  The vehicle, an Oldsmobile Pacifica, continued north on Larkin away from the scene of the accident.

Vernon Howard charged with hit and run death of Daniel Lietke

Vernon Howard charged with hit and run death of Daniel Lietke

Approximately one hour later Joliet Police spotted the Oldsmobile and conducted a traffic stop without incident.  Four male individuals were inside the vehicle and were turned over to Sheriff’s detectives.  It was determined that two of the passengers were not inside the vehicle at the time of the incident.  One of the passengers however, Mark Pierce, age 26 of Joliet, was subsequently arrested for a Failure to Appear warrant regarding a traffic matter.  The male driver, age 37 of Joliet, was driving on a suspended license.  He is currently being held by the Sheriff’s Office pending formal charges relating to the hit and run.  We anticipate that charges may be filed later today or tomorrow.

Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas stated, “Both the victim and driver of the Oldsmobile had consumed alcohol prior to the fatal accident.  We are awaiting blood test results on the driver and the toxicology report on the victim to determine to what extent alcohol played in this fatal accident.”

Additional DUI arrests reported by Will County Sheriff Paul Karpaus

Location: S. Briggs and I80

Summary: David L. Kempes, age 49, of 25255 S. Tehle Rd. in Elwood was arrested for possession of cannabis under 30 grams, possession of drug equipment, DUI/drugs, DUI/alcohol, and speeding.

8/24     Location: N. Briggs and Maple Rd.

Summary: Juan Pablo Rodriguez-Luis, age 24, of 804 Chase Avenue in Joliet was arrested for DUI, illegal transportation of alcohol, no valid driver’s license, and improper lane usage.

8/23     Location: S. Broadway and W. Division

Summary: Heather Nelson, age 35, of 944 State Street in Hammond, IN was arrested for DUI and failure to yield private road.

8/20     Location: W. 143rd and S. Bell Rd.

Summary: Ian Kupczyk, age 39, of 14018 Derby Drive in Orland Park was arrested for DUI and improper lane usage.

8/22     Location: S. 80th and W. Lincoln Highway               Frankfort

Summary: Casey L. Kerrigan, age 27, of 22939 S. Spencer Rd. in Manhattan was arrested for DUI, failure to signal, and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

Location: 25000 block of S. Stoney Island               Crete

8/12/14          Summary: James J. Nowak, age 42, of 2020 E. Bemes Road in Crete was arrested for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, improper use of registration, improper lane usage, aggravated driving while license revoked, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, no registration, and DUI, after his vehicle left the roadway and drove through two resident’s front yards before coming to a stop.

8/10     Location: W. Bruce Rd. and S. Cedar Rd.

Summary: Karl G. Creger, age 35, of 110 Frances in Lockport was arrested for DUI, improper lane usage, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and violation of classification (motorcycle).

Location: N. Briggs and E. Cass

Summary: Juan M. Garcia, age 43, of 926 N. Briggs in Joliet was arrested for driving while license suspended, DUI, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and speeding.

8/9       Location: Magnolia and Woodruff

Summary: Douglas A. Norris, age 46, of 1104 Magnolia in Joliet was cited for one headlight, failure to signal, illegal transportation of alcohol, no proof of insurance and DUI.