Frankfort man charged with reckless homicide in fatal 2010 wrecks
— Sun-Times Media April 25, 2012 6:58PM
Stanislaw W. Wdowikowski / photo fro Will County Sheriff's office
Updated: April 25, 2012 8:52PM
JOLIET- A Frankfort man faces five counts of reckless homicide for a crash that killed one person and injured another in the fall of 2010 in Manhattan Township, Sun-Times Media is reporting.
Prosecutors have also charged 27-year-old Stanislaw W. Wdowikowski of Frankfort with five counts of aggravated reckless driving causing bodily harm for the Oct. 28, 2010, accident. A Will County Sheriff’s spokeswoman said a warrant has been issued but he was not in custody as of Wednesday morning.
Will County State’s Attorney’s office spokesman Chuck Pelkie said the case against Wdowikowski is complex and investigators gathered information for “quite a long period of time” — explaining the 1-1/2-year delay in filing charges.
“It was reviewed and scrutinized in great detail by our office,” Pelkie said.
Wdowikowski told police after the accident he’d been at the home of his girlfriend, Danielle Yakima, and wanted to go for a ride in his new 2002 Ford Mustang. They left between 9 and 10 p.m. when Yakima’s brother, Michael Yakima, came home from work, police said. They left their cell phones behind.
Danielle Yakima sat in the front passenger seat, police said, and her brother sat behind her. Wdowikowski and his girlfriend wore seat belts, according to reports, but it’s not clear if Michael Yakima was buckled in.
Police and court records said Wdowikowski drove north on Gougar Road from Hoff Road at a high speed — possibly as fast as 97 mph — lost control and crashed into a cornfield on the east side of the road. A lawsuit later filed by Michael Yakima’s family claimed the car went airborne after it hit a bridge.
All three were thrown from the car, according to reports. Parts of the car were torn off and some were discovered in tree branches. Officers believe it took at least five hours for hunters, who also happened to work as firefighters, to discover the bodies in the field around 5 a.m.
Wdowikowski and his passengers were slipping in and out of consciousness when they were found, police said. Michael Yakima died soon after the crash, and police said Wdowikowski had to have surgery to fuse parts of his spine back together.