The coroner has identified a 60-year-old man who died after police say he was street-racing at high speeds when he slammed into an SUV, injuring a woman, in Beach Park.
An autopsy performed Monday on Steven Cielesz, 60, of Waukegan, showed he died from blunt force injuries as a result of a vehicle crash, according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Beach Park Fire Department responded around 3:45 p.m. Sunday to Sheridan Road and Yorkhouse Road in Beach Park for a vehicle crash with injuries.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived and located two vehicles with extensive damage, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.
A preliminary investigation shows a Ford Mustang was traveling southbound on Sheridan Road.
Covelli said the Ford, driven by Cielesz, was traveling at a high rate of speed, according to witnesses.
The Ford was actively involved in a drag race with the driver of a Mazda 3 sedan, Covelli said.
The two vehicles approached Yorkhouse Road as a Honda SUV, driven by a 59-year-old Waukegan woman, was traveling northbound on Sheridan Road.
The driver of the Honda was attempting to make a left turn onto Yorkhouse Road.
She began turning left from Sheridan Road onto westbound Yorkhouse Road when her car was struck broadside by the Ford.
Cielesz was critically injured and reported to be unresponsive at the scene.
Sheriff’s deputies attempted lifesaving measures and paramedics transported Cielesz to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan where he died.
The driver of the Honda sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the Mazda, which was not involved in the crash, was identified as a 26-year-old Zion man.
The Mazda is being considered part of the crash because the racing likely contributed to the crash, Covelli said.
The crash remains under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Unit.