'He was one of a kind': Father of 4 killed in Markham crash while driving to work at Daley Center

'I sent him a text, and I realized he wasn't going to get it,' said Katelynn, Zack Kulak's widow.

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Monday, October 3, 2022
Father of 4 killed in suburban crash while driving to work in Chicago
Zack Kulak was a father of four who worked at the Daley Center in the Chicago Loop. He was killed in a Markham, IL car crash near the I-294 overpass.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The widow of a man killed in a south suburban crash said one picture best captures his personality and true self.

Katelynn Raddatz Kulak said her husband, Zack Kulak, loved being a father. The couple had four kids, who lost their father in a horrific crash in Markham on Friday night.

"He was always playing with them. He'd take them everywhere. When he came home they'd run up to him and throw their arms around him. He was one of a kind," Katelynn said.

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Katelynn stood with her mother next to her for support while she recalled that she and Zach knew each other for more than half their lives. They met when they were 15 years old at Tinley Park High School and dated all through school.

After college, they got married and started a family. They had four kids, ranging from 1 to 7 years old. It was a fairytale romance with their lives going according to plan. Katelynn is a school teacher and Zach was just finishing his apprenticeship, working as an engineer at the Daley Center downtown.

But, the fairy tale came to a sudden end on Friday night at about 8:30 p.m., when another vehicle crossed into the lane Zack was driving in and crashed broadside into his vehicle. Zack and the driver of the other vehicle, 20-year-old Carlos Mendoza, were both killed. It's a reality Zack's widow is still processing.

"It comes and goes. My daughter yesterday was being goofy, and I sent him a text, and I realized he wasn't going to get it," Katelynn said.

She said they had big plans to celebrate her birthday this weekend. Police are investigating, but said it's unclear what caused the other vehicle to cross over into the lane Zack was driving in. A passenger in that vehicle was seriously injured as well.

"There were just a lot of things that were supposed to happen that won't happen now," Katelynn said.

Zach was on his way to work at the Daley Center. He worked nights, which he said worked out well for his family life. His family is now making funeral arrangements.