Naperville dentist charged in fatal I-88 crash

August 22, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Authorities were in no rush to charge William Howe. He is still hospitalized after the August 6 incident on the Reagan Tollway.

State's attorney Bob Berlin calls it "a terrible car crash," and for some, that understates what happened. Two members of an Elmhurst family were left dead, victims of a Naperville dentist who may have been trying to drive out some personal demons from behind the wheel of a Porsche.

It was a red, 2006 Porsche, headed eastbound on I-88 near Lisle. According to witnesses, the car pulled into an emergency turn-around lane, paused, and then took off into oncoming traffic.

Two passengers in a Toyota Corolla were killed, a third hospitalized.

The driver of the sports car, 43-year-old William Anthony Howe of Naperville, was charged Monday. In an I-Team story that broke two weeks ago, we reported that Howe has a history of driving under the influence and growing financial problems, including his dental practice having gone out of business.

Just before the accident, witnesses said, Howe was throwing cash out of the convertible.

Court records filed Monday give no clue as to Howe's behavior the night of the accident or whether it was a botched suicide attempt as some investigators believe.

The felony complaint accuses Howe of acting in a reckless manner, acts likely to cause death, and driving at a speed which was greater than reasonable.

Authorities have issued an arrest warrant that will be carried out as soon as Howe can leave the hospital. It carries a $5 million bond, indicating the concerns prosecutors have for the driver showing up in court.

Prosecutors say Howe will appear in bond court once he is released from the hospital. Considering substantial tax liens against Howe, it seems unlikely he will be able to scrape together the required 10 percent cash for his bond.

Each count is punishable by three to five years in prison. They are looking into the possibility of filing more charges.

Howe is expected to be released from the hospital within a week.

Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.