Driver Dies, Two Injured in Collision after Car Soars into Oncoming Traffic

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Mann Daily Herald Staff Writer

A 16-year-old Roselle girl was killed Thursday night near Palatine after she lost control of her car on Route 53, became airborne as she crossed the median and crashed into a car on the other side of the highway.

Andra E. Johnson, 16, was pronounced dead at 10:10 p.m., shortly after her arrival at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, said Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Scott Modglin.

Johnson was driving south on Route 53, near the Dundee Road overpass, when she changed lanes around 9:30 p.m., lost control of her Ford Escort and drove onto the grassy median, which sent her car into the air.

Johnson's car was still in the air when it crashed head on into a car headed north on Route 53, driven by 65-year-old Loraine R. Gillogly of Barrington, Modglin said.

Both cars had extensive damage to their front ends and left sides.

Gillogly was taken to Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, where she remained in critical condition Friday night. Johnson's passenger, Kristopher Pociask, 18, was taken to Northwest Community Hospital, where he was listed in fair condition Friday.

A witness, whom Johnson passed shortly before the accident, told police the teen was speeding, Modglin said. There was not enough evidence, however, for police to estimate Johnson's speed.

Alcohol or drugs were not believed to be a factor in the accident, said Modglin, who noted the highway was wet from light snow Friday night.

Everyone involved in the accident was wearing a seat belt, and the air bag in Gillogly's car had deployed, he said

Firefighters spent 10 minutes cutting Johnson from her car, while Gillogly was freed within 30 minutes, said Steve Delatorre, spokesman for the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District.

A helicopter had been called to fly Johnson to the hospital but was later canceled. Johnson's heart had stopped due to her injuries, so firefighters immediately had to rush her by ambulance to the nearest hospital.

Modglin was unsure where the two teens were heading or where they had come from before the accident. Police would conduct an extensive interview with Pociask today or tomorrow, he said. …