Charges dismissed in fatal Rt. 47 crash

By on June 25, 2009

ELBURN—The Kane County State’s Attorney last week petitioned the court to dismiss a minor traffic charge against a motorist involved in a May fatal crash on Route 47. The motion, which was granted by Associate Judge Ronald G. Matekaitis, thereby dismissing the charge, was sought while authorities continue to review evidence.

The crash occurred at about 8:20 a.m. May 23, 2009, at the intersection of Route 47 and Smith Road in Blackberry Township south of Elburn. A vehicle in the southbound lane on Route 47 had stopped to turn left onto Smith Road, waiting for several northbound motorcycles to pass. A second southbound vehicle had stopped behind it. A third southbound vehicle, a 1999 Toyota Solara, approached and struck the second vehicle in the rear, pushing it into the path of the oncoming motorcycles. A 2000 Harley-Davidson Softtail was struck, and the driver, Wade Thomas, 44, of St. Charles, and the passenger, his wife, Denise Thomas, 45, also of St. Charles, were killed.

The driver of the Solara was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

The charge has been dropped while authorities await the results of toxicology tests, which could take several months to be returned, and seek additional evidence. The decision to petition to dismiss avoids the potential for double jeopardy in the future.

The case remains under investigation. Authorities have the discretion to reinstate the original charge and authorize additional charges pending the results of the tests and review of evidence.