Illinois State Police said witnesses saw a 2012 Toyota Camry speeding on westbound I-88 around 12:55 a.m. Police said the driver, identified as 30-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Domenic Andreoni of Elgin, lost control, hit a wall, spun around and crashed head-on into a 2007 Chrysler 300 near Mill Street.
Andreoni had been honored by the Cubs for his service in 2014. The Marine Corps released a statement saying their "thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this tragedy," and said they are cooperating with Illinois State Police during the investigation.
Ali Erhaima, 32, of Aurora, was driving the Chrysler. He worked as a profession car service driver and came to the United States as a refugee from Iraq, where he had survived being shot multiple times during a militia attack in Baghdad.
"He was the best. He was a very good guy. He think about everyone and he cared about everyone," said colleague and friend Lath Whitwhit.
Erhaima is survived by his wife, daughter and son.
Shiva Inampudi, 40, of Naperville, was the passenger in the backseat of the Chrysler. The software engineer's family told ABC7 Eyewitness News he had just returned from a business trip in California. He was on his way home from the airport.
"Very pleasing personality, always smiling. Neighbors love him. Great dad, great husband, great brother. I cannot believe it," said Mahi Inampudi, Shiva's brother.
Inampudi is survived by his wife and young son. The family, including members in his native India, feels lost without him.
"We are still trying to digest this news. I'm sure life will go on, but it's going to be different," Inampudi said.
Westbound I-88 was closed for about five hours and traffic was diverted at Naperville Road as crews responded. All lanes reopened around 6 a.m.