Driver Faces Child Endangerment Charges After Crash With Semi on Route 72

Driver Faces Child Endangerment Charges After Crash With Semi on Route 72

The intersection of IL Route 72 and Walker Road. (CREDIT: Google Maps)

A 22-year-old Streator woman faces multiple charges including child endangerment after a Saturday collision with a semi truck on IL Route 72.

According to a Kane County Sheriff’s Office news release, Kane County sheriff’s deputies along with Hampshire police and Kane County Forrest Preserve police responded at around 6:35 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 18, 2021) to a report of a crash with injuries the area of Route 72 and Walker Road in unincorporated Hampshire Township.

The intersection of IL Route 72 and Walker Road. (CREDIT: Google Maps)

The initial investigation revealed that a Nissan Quest driven by Michele Sotelo, 22, and carrying one adult and five children was traveling north on Walker Road when the Nissan ran through the stop sign while turning left on Route 72, where it was struck by an eastbound Freightliner semi driven by a 59-year-old Carpentersville man.

According to the news release, traffic on Route 72 does not have a stop sign and has the right of way.

The driver of the semi was uninjured, but all seven occupants of the Nissan were transported to area hospitals:

  • Sotelo was transported to AMITA Health St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin with minor injuries.
  • One adult female passenger from Aurora was flown to a Rockford Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
  • Four male juvenile passengers, all 5 years old or younger, were transported to AMITA Health St. Joseph Hospital with minor injuries.
  • One male 8-year-old passenger was flown from AMITA Health St. Joseph Hospital to a Chicago-area hospital with serious but non-life threating injuries.

During the investigation, officers determined that only one of the children were restrained in a child-safety seat. The adult passenger is the mother of all the children.

Sotelo was charged with:

  • One count of No Valid Illinois Driver’s License.
  • One count of Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle.
  • Four counts of Child Endangerment, a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Four counts of Failure to Restrain a Child in a Child Safety Seat.

Sotelo was released with a notice to appear due to the need for continuing medical treatment.

The Kane Country Accident Reconstruction Team and the Kane County Office of Emergency Management assisted at the scene.

Sheriff’s Office officials said it does not appear that drugs or alcohol played a role in this crash.

The charges against Sotelo are not proof of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

SOURCE: Kane County Sheriff’s Office news release