The woman who was driving the wrong way on Interstate 90 near Marengo – causing the crash that killed herself and seven others – had a blood alcohol concentration that was twice the legal limit, the coroner said.
A full autopsy and toxicology have been completed by the McHenry County Coroner’s Office on Jennifer Fernandez, 22, of Carpentersville.
Fernandez died due to blunt force injuries from the crash, McHenry County Coroner Michael Rein said on Monday.
Fernandez’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.164, which is just over two times the legal limit.
No other drugs were found in her system, Rein said.
Thomas Dobosz, 32, and Lauren Dobosz, 31, along with their children Emma, Lucas, Nicholas and Ella — whose ages ranged from 6 to 13, died following the July 31 crash.
The family was traveling westbound on Interstate 90 at mile marker 33.5 in their 2005 Chevrolet full-size van at around 2:10 a.m.
A gray 2010 Acura TSX, driven by Fernandez, was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes for unknown reasons, the Illinois State Police said.
The Acura struck the Chevrolet head-on. Both vehicles then became fully engulfed in flames.
The entire family, except for Thomas Dobosz, immediately died in the crash. One of the kids’ friends, Katriona Koziara, also died.
Fernandez was pronounced dead at the scene.
Thomas Dobosz was airlifted to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood with severe injuries, fire officials said.
He was pronounced dead days later, his family and police said.
The Dobosz family were Rolling Meadows residents.
Colleagues of Lauren Dobosz created a GoFundMe account that raised over $117,280 for the funeral expenses.
“Lauren always made a great impression on everyone she met, she was full of life, laughter, and always a good time,” Lisa Torres said.
“We’re going to miss you Lauren and your spunky, sweet, sassy kids. We shall shine bright this year.”
A relative of the Dobosz family said the family was headed on vacation to Minnesota when the crash occurred.
A mass and funeral service took place in late-August at St. Ferdinand Catholic Church in Chicago.
“We would like to thank God for giving us Thomas, Lauren, Emma, Lucas, Nicolas and Ella, and for giving us the time we had. We would like to thank God for giving us strength the last four weeks and are hoping he gives us just a little more. We’ll definitely need it,” said Agnes Vasilkovski, Thomas Dobosz’s sister, ABC7 Chicago reported.
“Tom had met his perfect match in Lauren. Even though I didn’t know Lauren as a child, I did know her as a wife, mother, as she would say, a sister,” Vasilkovski said at the funeral service.
“Her children were the most important things in her life… As Tom and Lauren ended every phone conversation, we would like to say, ‘love you babe, until we meet again,'” Vasilkovski added, according to ABC7.
The burial was held at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines.