Two people died and four were injured Tuesday when the driver of a Nissan SUV drove into oncoming traffic and caused a three-vehicle crash, the Will County Sheriff said.
According to police, one of the vehicles involved caught fire and became engulfed in flames.
Around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Will County Sheriff's Office was called to the scene of a three-vehicle accident near the intersection of 143rd Street and Kings Road in Homer Glen, officials say.
Preliminary reports from the Sheriff's office revealed that Chris Haramija, 37, was behind the wheel of a Nissan SUV and traveling westbound when he drove into oncoming traffic and struck a Lincoln SUV, driven by a 55-year-old male who refused medical treatment at the scene.
The Nissan then struck a Hyundai head-on, police say, "causing the engine compartment to catch fire and engulf into flames."
The driver of the Hyundai, a 49-year-old female, suffered extensive injuries and was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition, according to officials.
A front-seat passenger, a 77-year-old male was also transported to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. The backseat passenger, a 73-year-old female, succumbed to her injuries at the scene, officials say.
According to the Sherriff's office, all three people traveling in the Hyundai were family members, and from Orland Park. The Will County Coroner has not released the names of the victims.
According to police, Haramija was transported to a nearby hospital with multiple injuries and was cited for improper lane usage, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and transportation of open alcohol.
His front seat passenger, a 41-year-old male, suffered extensive injuries and was last listed in critical condition. The backseat passenger, a 33-year-old male, was transported to an area hospital in stable condition with multiple, non-life threatening injuries.
This accident is currently under investigation.
The Herald News reported in Oct. 2021 that a Joliet man with the same name as the Nissan SUV driver had recently been released from jail on a $10,000 bond after being charged with opening fire on two women in Mokena.
At that time, prosecutors alleged Haramija “knowingly discharged a firearm in the direction” of two women and fired the gun in a “reckless manner,” which “endangered the bodily safety” of the two women.
According to the Will County clerk, Haramija has more than 30 significant driving violations dating back to 2001, including reckless driving, driver under the influence, failure to reduce speed and more.