Elgin police: Woman charged with DUI after car ends up in pond, prompting search

ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) -- A 19-year-old woman was charged with driving under the influence after her car ended up in a retention pond in northwest suburban Elgin early Thursday morning.

Jennifer Shallow lives across the street from the scene, near South Randall Road and College Green Drive.

"The dogs started barking, probably around 6 o'clock, and I saw lights. The whole subdivision was blocked off with ambulances," Shallow said.

Chopper 7HD captured video of the crash. The driver, Hollyann Pilcher, lost control of the Volkswagen she was driving, struck a light pole and careened into the pond. At the time of the crash, roads were slick and lightly covered with snow.

"It's unknown if weather played a factor in this particular crash," said Commander Al Young, Elgin Police Department.

Pilcher managed to get out of the car on her own and started knocking on residents' doors, asking for help, police said. Neighbors said she told them there was someone else in the car.

Police were called to the scene around 5:30 a.m. A dive team was deployed to search for the passenger.

"Initially, I think she reported that there was a second person in the car with her that was submerged in water. We called out the fire department. We had the car towed from the pond and we didn't locate anyone," Young said.

Authorities later said that passenger somehow got out and made his way to a friend's house nearby. It's unclear why he left the scene.

Pilcher was treated for hypothermia, but did not have to go to the hospital.

She was later arrested and charged with DUI. Police said her blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit.

"I mean, it worries me. I think that that's always - you put yourself and others in danger - you know? I hope that's not the case, but if it is, I hope that she can get some help and it doesn't happen again," Shallow said.
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