The family of a 28-year-old man says they are raising money to pay for his funeral after he died when his SUV struck a pole and became engulfed in flames in Waukegan.
The Waukegan Police Department and Waukegan Fire Department responded around 2:30 a.m. Sunday to Sheridan Road and Glen Flora Avenue for a report of a vehicle crash with injuries.
A white 1999 GMC SUV had struck a pole and burst into flames, leaving the driver trapped inside, according to Waukegan Deputy Police Chief Scott Chastain.
A neighbor told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that bystanders were using sticks to try and break the windows to rescue the driver.
The neighbor, who wished to not be named, said the fire initially started small but quickly got bigger.
Officers arrived and found the single-vehicle crash with the vehicle fully engulfed in flames, Chastain said.
Officers were also unable to get the male driver out of the car due to the fire.
Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said the driver was identified as Vincent Reyna, 28, of Waukegan.
Firefighters arrived and extinguished the fire. They located Reyna deceased in the car.
Banek said an autopsy performed Tuesday showed Reyna suffered significant injuries in the crash but toxicology and carbon monoxide test results are still pending.
The Waukegan Police Department Major Crash Unit is investigating the cause of the crash.
Officers were on the scene investigating until around 9 a.m. Sunday.
The neighbor, who lives near the intersection, said he sees lots of vehicles speeding in the area and crashes are common. “Nothing this bad, this is the worst I’ve seen,” he said.
The first responders did a “very good job” but there was nothing that could be done for the victim, the neighbor said.
Reyna’s family is raising money for his funeral service after the “horrible accident that sadly took his life.”
A GoFundMe created by Reyna’s aunt has raised over $2,000 in a day, surpassing its initial $1,000 goal.
“His mother and brothers want to give Vincent the memorial he deserves, to honor his memory and say our last goodbyes,” the aunt said.