Woman killed when SUV hits apartment

November 13, 2010 (BOLINGBROOK, Ill.)

The deadly accident took place Saturday morning at 315 Woodcreek Drive in Bolingbrook.

The teen driver allegedly responsible for the fatal crash that claimed the life of his neighbor, Josefina Prospero, has been charged with reckless homicide and remained in custody Saturday evening as the police investigation moved into another hour.

Meanwhile, the friends, family members and co-workers of Prospero, a mother of two, say they can'tfathom that she is gone.

Loved ones did their best Saturday to comfort a pained and broken Juan Nicolas -- just hours after a teenaged driver's SUV plowed into the suburban home Nicolas shared with the woman he loved and killed her as she slept next to him.

Prospero died early Saturday the "garden" apartment where the two lived together for many years since first meeting and falling in love in their native country.

Nicolas says he tried to save her but couldn't.

"I don't understand. Why her and not me? Why not me? Why not me? She didn't deserve it. She had a beautiful smile," Nicolas said tearfully through a translator.

The crash happened at approximately 2:20 a.m. when a 17-year-old who lives in the same complex rammed a 2002 Chevy truck he was driving through the couple's window into their bedroom.

The SUV landed on top of a sleeping Prospero and crushed her.

Nicolas was only slightly injured in the accident as the driver and his passenger tried to flee.

"A neighbor actually had gone into the house and subdued the driver until police came," witness Terrance Bell said.

Authorities say they believe alcohol was a factor in the accident, as word of the tragedy spread around the apartment community.

"One guy was 17 years old. It's hard. It's tragic," said neighbor Karl Brown.

Prospero and Nicolas worked together at a southwest suburban hotel, saving what they could in hopes of marrying soon-- while never forgetting the two children Prospero continued to support in Mexico.

"She was working hard, making her money, sending it back home to give a better life to her family," said Hirsh Mohindra, the victim's boss.

Family members and friends struggled with their grief Saturday as they remembered Josefina.

"Her smile was just beautiful. I'm never going to forget that smile," friend Xiomara Ramos said.

A 17-year-old passenger in the SUV at the time of the crash allegedly tried to run away also. He reportedly was stopped by police officers responding to the scene, questioned by detectives and released.

Josefina Prospero's brother also was in the apartment Saturday but was unharmed.

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