Man Charged With Felony DUI After Allegedly Striking Student With His Car - NBC Chicago

Man Charged With Felony DUI After Allegedly Striking Student With His Car

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Community Comes Together After Student Hit by Car

    A suburban community is pulling together after a terrible tragedy, as a Downers Grove North High School student was struck by a car near the school's campus. NBC 5's Michelle Relerford reports. 

    (Published Friday, Feb. 22, 2019)

    A 51-year-old Naperville man has been charged with felony aggravated DUI after allegedly striking a Downers Grove North High school student with his car earlier this week. 

    DuPage County sheriff's officials say that Joseph Kucharski is currently in custody and facing felony aggravated DUI charges, and one count of felony reckless driving after allegedly hitting student Beth Dunlap on Tuesday morning. 

    It was revealed Friday that Dunlap "will not recover from her injuries," and that her family is "making final arrangements," according to the school. 

    "Those who know Beth know that she was a fierce competitor and a strong person," Schwarze said in a school announcement. "As hard as this loss is for all of us, I believe that she would want us to be strong and take care of each other. In fact, Beth’s family has ensured that she will take care of others by donating her organs. While this tragedy has forever changed the lives of many in our community, the lives of other people have new hope because of Beth." 

    Dunlap was struck by a car while crossing Main Street outside the school around 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to a statement issued by DuPage County police. 

    Dunlap was within a marked crosswalk and had a "walk" signal, according to police, when Kucharski's vehicle allegedly crossed into the oncoming lanes and entered the intersection on a red light, polcie said. 

    Kucharski did remain on the scene after the crash, police said. 

    School officials said Dunlap was a volleyball player who wore the number 18.

    "Consider doing something positive in regards to this number in her honor," Schwarze said. "For example, you might perform 18 random acts of kindness. You might donate $18 to a charity. Do what feels right." 

    The school also held a moment of silence for 18 seconds. 

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