A 62-year-old Mundelein man has been identified after he died in a crash near Gurnee that left two young children and six others seriously injured Sunday evening.
An autopsy showed that Joaquin Calderon, 62, of Mundelein, died as a result of blunt force injuries as a result of a vehicle crash, according to Lake County Chief Deputy Coroner Steve Newton.
The Gurnee Fire Department and Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded around 6:40 p.m. Sunday to Route 45 and Rollins Road in unincorporated Gurnee for a vehicle crash with injuries.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said deputies arrived to find five people ejected from one vehicle.
A preliminary investigation shows a GMC Envoy, driven by a 34-year-old Mundelein man, was traveling westbound on Rollins Road.
The driver was attempting to make a left turn onto southbound Route 45, Covelli said.
The driver of the GMC turned left on a yellow light and was struck by an eastbound Ford pickup truck, driven by a 22-year-old Round Lake man, which was traveling through the intersection.
Five occupants from the GMC were ejected upon impact.
Those ejected occupants included a 2-year-old boy, a 4-year-old boy, a 24-year-old woman, a 31-year-old woman and a 63-year-old woman. All five are Mundelein residents.
Those five were transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with serious to critical injuries. They all have been stabilized and are expected to survive, Covelli said.
The driver of the GMC was also transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center with serious injuries.
Calderon, who was in the front-seat passenger in the GMC, was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center but was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.
Covelli said it appears the children were sitting on the laps of two of the backseat passengers. All of those ejected were unrestrained.
The driver of the Ford was treated by paramedics at the scene.
Two passengers in the Ford, a 19-year-old Round Lake Beach man, and a 19-year-old Round Lake Heights man, were transported to Lake Forest Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
A westbound Toyota Venza was struck by debris immediately following the crash.
None of the occupants of the Toyota were injured, Covelli said.
Jessica Arteaga, the daughter of Calderon, said their family’s lives have been “changed forever” following the crash.
Several of her family members, in addition to her father, were involved in the incident.
“This is such a difficult time for all of us as we grieve the loss of my dad and somehow manage to pull strength to keep going for the rest of the family that desperately needs all of our love and care,” Arteaga said.
“My dad was the life of the party and if you ever met him you’d feel his humbleness in his voice. He loved deeply and always put everything and everyone before himself,” she added.
A GoFundMe has raised over $3,000 for the family so far for medical and funeral expenses.
The crash remains under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Unit.