ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Last night’s three-car accident was actually a four-car accident all stemming from a police chase that resulted in the death of a Rockford woman.
She’s 54-year-old Michelle Parker. At about 9 last night, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputies tried pulling over 30-year-old Dennis Mikosz for suspicion of drinking under the influence (DUI). He did stop, but deputies say when they returned to their squad car to check his license he took off speeding. So deputies chased after him.
Authorities say Mikosz was driving recklessly when he crashed into a truck at Turner and Alpine and kept driving. He then blew through a red light and slammed into a car driven by that 54-year-old woman at Garrett Lane and Mulford Rd. Both of them then crashed into an SUV. She was taken to the hospital where she later died from her injuries. Mikosz and the two other drivers involved suffered non-life threatening injuries.
The question remains, should the deputies have chased after him? We spoke to a witness who tells us the outcome should have been different.
What started as a fun summer night, ended in fear for Katelyn Szymanski and her young daughter. They witnessed deputies chasing an alleged drunk driver down her street on Turner Avenue.
Could that truck have hit the children? Should the pursuit have been stopped for the safety of the public? That’s the main concern for Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputies who have to determine if and when they should pursue a driver.
“The officers felt his driving was so reckless and so extreme that it was a greater risk to the public if they didn’t pursue,” said Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparro.
However, the pursuit still ended in the death of a 54-year-old woman. Police say 30-year-old Dennis Mikosz caused the crash by running a red light on Mulford Road. Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparro says he still think deputies did the right thing.
“Many factors are taken into consideration, the time of day, the traffic flow, the speeds, and the reason for the attempted stop.”
Mikosz is being held in the Winnebago County Jail without bond. He’s been charged with DUI, Aggravated Fleeing from and officer and other traffic charges. Deputies say he could face more and is expected to appear in court on Monday.
Deputy Chief Iasparro says the squad car had its lights and sirens going during the pursuit. He’s now waiting to get results on Mikosz’s blood alcohol content.
UPDATE: We now know the name of the woman that was killed in an alleged drunk driving accident Thursday night.
The Winnebago County Coroner's Office reports that 54-year-old Michelle Parker died as a result of her injuries sustained in the car crash at Mulford and Garrett.
Toxicology tests will be available in the next two weeks. The investigation is ongoing.
UPDATE: The driver of the truck has been identified as 30-year-old Dennis Mikosz of Belvidere.
Around 9 p.m.Thursday night, Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputies stopped a red Dodge pick-up truck at East State and Dawn Avenue for what appeared to be drunk driving. While the deputies were speaking to Mikosz he fled in the vehicle and the deputies pursued him.
At the intersection of Turner and Alpine Mikosz struck a pick-up truck and continued on. Mikosz subsequently ended up on Mulford Road (northbound) and struck a Black Chrysler Sebring. Both vehicles then struck a Ford Escape. The driver of the Chrysler Sebring, a 54-year-old woman, of Rockford was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead. An autopsy will be conducted today.
Mikosz has been charged with DUI and Aggravated fleeing to elude a Peace Officer, as well as a variety of traffic charges. He has been lodged in the Winnebago County Jail.
UPDATE: North Mulford Road from Guilford Road to Strathmore Lane has been re-opened. Rockford police had closed the road to re-construct a fatal crash scene Thursday night.
UPDATE: The Rockford Police Department is assisting the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department with an investigation of a fatal traffic crash at North Mulford Road and Garrett Lane on the City's East side.
North Mulford Road will be closed between Guilford Road and Strathmore Lane until 9 AM Friday morning, August 23, 2013.
Motorists should avoid the area on their morning commute.
UPDATE: Rockford police say one person has died in the car crash on Mulford Road. Three others are the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) - - Police are on the scene of a bad crash on Rockford's east side.
It's at Mulford and Garrett, which is just north of East State St. Three cars were involved in the crash. At least two people were taken to the hospital. No further information is available at this time.
We have a reporter on scene and will update the web as soon as we find out more details.