Police have identified the driver who crashed into a Crystal Lake home, critically injuring a resident inside, and say “several questions” remain unanswered because the driver is unable to speak.
The incident happened around 7:03 p.m. on July 27 in the 100 block of South Heather Drive in Crystal Lake.
Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Rick Neumann said officers received a report of a single vehicle that crashed into a residence, resulting in injuries.
A preliminary investigation revealed an SUV was traveling eastbound on Ballard Road.
The SUV, for unknown reasons, continued through the intersection of Briarwood Road and left the roadway, Neumann said.
The vehicle struck a detached garage and residence.
The adult male driver of the vehicle was trapped and had to be extricated from the vehicle by firefighters.
Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Thomas Kotlowski identified him Thursday as Connor C. Kirkpatrick, 27, of Crystal Lake.
Neumann said Kirkpatrick was subsequently flown to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with life-threatening injuries.
Angelo Pleotis, 64, who lives at the involved residence, was also trapped and had to be freed from the wreckage.
Pleotis was in the shower when the vehicle hit his house. He was flown to Advocate Condell Medical Center.
Pleotis suffered collapsed lungs, broken ribs, head trauma, lacerations and two spinal fracture dislocations, which caused paralysis.
It is unknown if the man will be able to walk again.
“I want to help give back to one of the kindest, most gentle hearted people I’ve ever met. Angelo was just months away from retirement where he was planning many outdoor adventures and travel. He was very active in my daughter’s (his granddaughters activities and life),” the man’s daughter-in-law, Alyssa Pleotis, said.
“He didn’t deserve any of this. He has had his entire life flipped upside down in the one place he should feel the safest – his own home,” she said.
A GoFundMe has raised over $77,000 as of Thursday for Pleotis, who remains hospitalized.
A neighbor said that the scene was “absolutely horrific.”
Kotlowski said that Kirkpatrick has been unable to communicate with anyone due to his medical condition.
“This leaves several questions regarding this crash unanswered for now,” Kotlowski said.
Investigators continue to process and examine evidence collected from the scene.
The evidence includes data from the vehicle involved and other electronic devices.
The incident remains under investigation by the Crystal Lake Police Department Accident Investigation Team.
Anyone who may have information relating to the incident is asked to contact the Crystal Lake Police Department at 815-356-3620.
Anonymous tips can also be sent to the Crystal Lake Police Department by texting the word CLPDTIP along with the tip information to 847411.