Romeoville pond crash kills man; 3 others escape submerged car without injury

March 11, 2013 4:43:24 PM PDT
A man died Monday after being pulled from a car that ended up 14 feet under water in a Romeoville retention pond.

However, three other men who also were riding in the car were safe, however.

Romeoville police say they got a call of a car into a retention pond at about 12:30 a.m. Monday.

According to police, the burgundy Pontiac Grand Prix somehow left the road at Lakeview Drive and Remington Boulevard.

Three men in the car managed to free themselves from the sinking car and were not seriously injured. They were able to flag down a passing motorist for help. The accident happened inside a business district with several commercial office buildings.

Fire department divers pulled the fourth man from the submerged car Monday morning. He was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead on arrival. That man has been identified as Adam Johnson, 28, of Bolingbrook, Ill.

Johnson had been trapped inside and, apparently, was unable to make it out on his own.

"Because they had crashed into the water, and none of their phones were working," said Romeoville Police Dept. Sgt. Christopher Burne. "There was a delay in our response because of that. So, it's undetermined at this point how long the victim was in the water."

The car ultimately sank as far as 14 feet below the water.

The three men who survived intially were taken to the police department for questioning but were allowed to go home later.

Authorities said the details of the accident were unclear to the survivors.

"The victims were still pretty shocked as far as what was going on. So, we did conduct a basic interview, but we intend to talk to them at a later date after they've had some time to rethink the event in their own minds," Burne said.

Police said they believed Johnson was the one driving the car. Crash investigators were trying to determine the cause of the crash and whether drugs or alcohol or speed and wet weather played a role.

Johnson had just finished welding school and gotten his own apartment in a nearby suburb. His funeral is scheduled for Thursday. He leaves behind loving parents, three brothers, and many friends.

Monday's Romeoville crash was the second fatal retention pond crash in two days. Emory Diaz Sepulveda, 20, died after the car she was driving left Interstate 88 in Aurora near Eola Road Sunday. Three passengers were rescued, and the cause of that crash was also still unknown.