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Woman charged in Lyons accident that left Berwyn, Bolingbrook women dead

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 4:56 p.m. CST

LYONS — Police in Lyons have arrested and charged a Chicago woman in connection with an accident last month that took the lives of a Berwyn woman and a Bolingbrook woman who were found in an overturned car 50 feet below the Harlem Avenue bridge.

Lisa Elner, 34, surrendered to Lyons police on Feb. 8 with her attorney present. 

According to police reports, a truck driver reported a vehicle lying on its roof 50 feet below the bridge on a road near the I&M Canal about noon Jan. 26. The vehicle contained the bodies of Michelle Miranda, 37, of Berwyn and Bolingbrook resident Sandra Frankum, 36.

Damage on the bridge indicated the vehicle had jumped the barrier and plummeted to the ground, Lyons Police Cmdr. Brian Kuratko said, adding there were no witnesses and that the department had received no 911 calls to alert police of the accident.

At 7 a.m. that day, Illinois State Police reported picking up Elner, who was walking on Harlem Avenue, apparently in shock and possibly suffering from frostbite. Elner told police she was walking home from a bar in Berwyn. Lyons emergency services were called and she was taken to MacNeal Hospital.

Kuratko said investigators made a connection to Elner with the accident that is believed to have occurred five hours earlier. Police believe Elner was driving the car at the time of the accident and failed to report it to anyone.

"The whole thing was horrific and tragic," Kuratko sad.

Kuratko said investigators are waiting for the results of toxicology reports and an accident re-enactment conducted by the Illinois State Police.

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office on Sunday approved the following charges against Elner: two counts of failure to report an accident involving death, two counts of aggravated driving under the influence involving death, possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) and other traffic charges.

Elner's bond was set at $200,000 Monday.

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