Police have announced charges against a Crystal Lake man who crashed head-on into another car while allegedly under the influence of drugs, killing a 73-year-old grandfather, near Lake Villa.
The fatal crash occurred around 9:50 p.m. on February 3 on Route 59 south of Route 132 in unincorporated Lake Villa.
Lake County sheriff’s deputies arrived and located a GMC Acadia and Kia Sorento with major damage, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.
An investigation showed the GMC, driven by Craig B. Muzard, now 74, of Crystal Lake, was traveling northbound on Route 59.
The GMC veered into the southbound lanes of traffic for unknown reasons, Covelli said.
The GMC struck the southbound Kia, driven by George Giannakakis, 73, of Ingleside, head-on.
Both drivers were transported by ambulance to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with critical injuries.
Giannakakis was pronounced deceased shortly after arriving at the hospital, Covelli said.
Covelli said that witnesses reported the GMC was swerving prior to the crash.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Team determined Muzard was driving under the influence of cocaine.
“His being under the influence played a direct role in the crash and death of Giannakakis,” Covelli said in an update Wednesday.
Giannakakis’ obituary said he leaves behind a wife of 52 years, along with three children and multiple grandchildren.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed the case after the investigation was completed and approved charges of aggravated driving under the influence of drugs resulting in death, a Class 2 felony, and reckless homicide, a Class 3 felony.
“The tragic death of Mr. Giannakakis is another sad example of someone being killed by the reckless actions of another. While nothing will bring Mr. Giannakakis back, I am happy the first step of justice has been taken,” Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said.
“Our traffic crash investigators will always hold drunk, drugged, and distracted drivers accountable for their selfish actions,” Idleburg said.
Muzard was arrested without incident Wednesday morning at his Crystal Lake residence by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Team.
He remains held in the Lake County Jail pending a hearing in First Appearance Court.