Teen Driver in Fatal Homer Wreck Charged With Reckless Homicide
A 17-year-old charged with reckless homicide in connection with a fatal crash was 16 at the time of the wreck and will be tried as a juvenile.
A Lockport teen already facing a wrongful death lawsuit in connection with a fatal crash in Homer Township was charged with reckless homicide.
Daniel Janik, 17, was 16 at the time of the Sept. 25 wreck and will be tried as a juvenile on six counts of reckless homicide and one count each of aggravated reckless driving and reckless driving. If he had turned 17 before the deadly crash he would have been charged as an adult.
Janik was sent a summons and is set to appear in juvenile court Thursday.
Janik was behind the wheel of a 1998 Ford F-150 the night of Sept. 25 and reportedly turned south off of Lauffner Road onto Haas Road in Homer Township.
The pickup reportedly ran off the road and into a tree, then rolled over and crushed passenger Jay Vana, 16, of Mokena.
The pickup reportedly landed on Vana after he was ejected from the cab.
Vana was taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox but died there. Janik was also injured and transported to Silver Cross.
Investigators reportedly found no indication of drugs or alcohol playing a role in the crash. Janik reportedly told police he lost control of the pickup when he swerved to avoid a deer in the road.
Vana's mother, Michele Vana, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Janik last week. The suit names not only Janik, but also the Lockport teen's father, Stanislaw Janik.
Michele Vana is suing Stanislaw Janik because he owned the pickup and allegedly "should have known that Daniel Janik had a history of dangerous and negligent operation of the vehicle and/or other motor vehicles."
The lawsuit fails to say how Stanislaw Janik was supposed to know this. It also makes no mention of any instance of Daniel Janik driving dangerously or negligently, despite his alleged "history."