2 dead, 2 injured in Markham car crash

Coroner identifies 1 victim as Carlos Mendoza, 20, of Harvey

ByEvelyn Holmes and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, October 1, 2022
2 dead,  2 injured in Markham car crash
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Police have identified the Two men who were killed in a Friday night car crash on 159th St., near I-294 in Markham.

MARKHAM, Ill,. (WLS) -- Two people were killed and two others were in a four-vehicle crash Friday night in south suburban Markham.

According to Markham police, a Dodge being driven by Carlos Mendoza, 20, of Harvey was headed eastbound on 159th Street near the I-294 overpass at around 8:30 p.m., when it somehow crossed over the median and t-boned a Mitsubishi SUV.

"He's a sweet kid," said Mendoza's cousin, Kimberly Villegas. "He's a really good kid. He doesn't drink. He doesn't smoke. He was always protective of us."

The Dodge caught fire killing Mendoza and the driver of the Mitsubishi. A male passenger in Mendoza's vehicle is in serious condition at Advocate Christ Hospital.

Police identify the driver of the Mitsubishi as Zachary Kulak, of Homewood.

In attempt to avoid the crash, another driver identified as a nurse, slammed their vehicle into a Hyundai SUV, police said. That nurse is hospitalized in serious but stable condition, police said. Police identify the driver of the Hyundai as a Cook County Corrections officer. He was treated at the scene.

According to police, speed is most like the cause of the crash. Alcohol or drugs do not appear to be a factor.

"We don't know why he lost control," said Markham City Adminstrator Derrick Champion. "In the event, he ended up turning and hitting the median and going across."

Mendoza's father tell ABC7 Chicago that he and his friend were coming home from spending the day at the mall.

Mendoza was the third of five children. His cousin said Carlos worked in a factory and in his freetime, loved playing video games. The thing he adored most of all, was his car.

"He just liked to drive his car and everything," Villegas said. "He liked to play with his friends a lot and that's it."

Illinois State Police is also investigating and reconstructing the scene.