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Crime & Courts

Man charged in fatal Wheaton crash misses court hearing

Death investigation underway at Warrenville condominium

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Brian Thunderkick, 62, of the 2S600 block of Pierre Curie Lane, Warrenville, who is charged in a high-speed crash in Wheaton that killed an Elgin woman in September 2017 after he missed a court appearance Feb. 22. The Warrenville Police Department issued a news release Feb. 22 that a man and woman were found dead in a condominium in Warrenville. The address matches Thunderkick's last known address. Warrenville police were assisting Wheaton police detectives in the service of a court document when the bodies were found.
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Brian Thunderkick, 62, of the 2S600 block of Pierre Curie Lane, Warrenville, who is charged in a high-speed crash in Wheaton that killed an Elgin woman in September 2017 after he missed a court appearance Feb. 22. The Warrenville Police Department issued a news release Feb. 22 that a man and woman were found dead in a condominium in Warrenville. The address matches Thunderkick's last known address. Warrenville police were assisting Wheaton police detectives in the service of a court document when the bodies were found.

WHEATON – A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a man charged in a high-speed crash in Wheaton that killed an Elgin woman in September 2017 after he missed a court appearance Feb. 22.

The Warrenville Police Department issued a news release Feb. 22 that a man and woman were found dead in a condominium in Warrenville. The address matches the last known address of Brian Thunderkick, 62, of the 2S600 block of Pierre Curie Lane, Warrenville, who is charged in the collision that killed Erika Villagomez, 23. Warrenville police were assisting Wheaton police detectives in the service of a court document when the bodies were found, according to the release.

Thunderkick has been formally indicted on charges of reckless homicide, attempting to leave the scene of an accident resulting in personal injury or death, and aggravated battery in a public place.

He was being held in the DuPage County Jail until he was released in October 2017 after posting 10 percent of a $150,000 bond. DuPage County Judge George Bakalis has scheduled a March 29 hearing to decide whether he will have to forfeit his bond.

Thunderkick pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Nov. 6, 2017. Prosecutors on Oct. 4 filed a petition to increase his bond to $2 million in light of new information in the case, including that he was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 1973. DuPage County Judge George Bakalis denied the motion Oct. 11.

Thunderkick allegedly crashed his vehicle into the back of Villagomez’s vehicle while traveling at 135 mph, authorities said. At about 11 a.m. Sept. 30, 2017, Wheaton police responded to a call of a fatal crash on Butterfield Road, just east of Naperville Road. Upon arrival, officers found the victim’s car, a Honda Accord, completely engulfed in flames.

"Upon arriving at the scene, officers observed the victim trapped in her Honda screaming for help," prosecutors' petition stated.

An off-duty River Grove police officer who witnessed the collision said Thunderkick traveled at an extremely high rate of speed on the shoulder, crossed in the left lane of westbound Butterfield Road, and rear-ended the victim's car, according to the petition.

Following the crash, Thunderkick was transported to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where his urine tested positive for barbiturates, the petition stated. Barbiturates are central nervous system depressants, according to Mayo Clinic. They can be used to treat insomnia, epilepsy and other conditions.

The "black box" in Thunderkick's car indicated his black Camaro was traveling at 135 mph before it hit the victim's Honda Accord. While being interviewed by Wheaton police Oct. 1, 2017, Thunderkick allegedly said "he wanted to open it up," according to the petition.

"The defendant admitted that he was driving recklessly and that he had his gas pedal 'all the way down,'" the petition stated.

Thunderkick allegedly shoved a woman trying to give him aid after the crash and prevent him from leaving the scene.

The conditions of Thunderkick's bond were modified Oct. 18, 2017, when the court granted him permission to leave his home for medical and psychological appointments, meetings with his attorney and court dates.

Conditions of Thunderkick's release include being otherwise confined to his home and being placed on GPS monitoring. In addition, Thunderkick is prohibited from consuming alcohol and can't possess or consume any controlled substances, except as prescribed. He also is banned from driving.

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