A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed after a pregnant mother and her three children were killed in a car crash last summer in Beecher, the Daily Southtown reported Thursday.
According to the newspaper, the suit was filed Jan. 12 on behalf of Edward Schmidt was the husband and father of the victims.
Bond for 25-year-old Sean Woulfe, who pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of reckless homicide in August, was reduced from $1 million to $250,000 during a court appearance, according to Will County court records. The Beecher resident posted bond that day.
The felony charges allege that Woulfe was speeding in excess of 20 mph over the 55 mph limit when he ran a stop sign, causing the crash that killed Lindsey Schmidt, 29, and her sons Caleb, 1; Weston, 4; and Owen, 6, all of Beecher, prosecutors said.
Lindsey Schmidt was pregnant at the time of her death, and two of the counts charge Woulfe with the death of the fetus, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Beecher family was in a 2014 Subaru Outback that was struck by Woulfe’s 2002 Chevrolet S10 pickup at 8:38 a.m. on July 24, in unincorporated Beecher, according to the sheriff’s office.
The pickup headed east on Corning Road and failed to stop at a stop sign at Yates Avenue; the Subaru was struck on the driver’s side and rolled over into a field, police said.
The Subaru had been headed north on Yates and had no stop sign.
Lindsey Schmidt, 29, was driving the Subaru; she and Caleb were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Will County coroner’s and sheriff’s offices.
Her other two sons were taken to St. Margaret Hospital in Hammond, Indiana, according to the sheriff’s office, then transferred to Comer Children’s Hospital.
Weston Schmidt died July 25, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Owen Schmidt died July 27.
Friends said on Facebook that the family, including Edward Schmidt — Lindsey’s husband and the boys’ father — was active in their church and the community.
After the crash, Woulfe was taken to St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights, police said. He was transferred to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn to undergo minor reconstructive surgery for a large cut to his arm.
All of the charges against him are felonies, and he faces up to 10 years in prison.
Woulfe’s next court appearance was set for Sept. 14.