Father, 32, becomes EIGHTH person to die in horror crash that also killed his wife and children

Father, 32, becomes EIGHTH person to die in horror crash that also killed his wife and four of their children after wrong-way driver, 22, hit their van head-on in Illinois

  • Thomas Dobosz, 32, was driving a Chevrolet van on I-90 early Sunday morning
  • Jennifer Fernandez, 22, of Carpentersville, Illinois, was driving the wrong way on I-90 in a 2010 Acura TSX for ‘unknown reasons’ and smashed into the van 
  • Thomas’ wife Lauren, their four children and another kid were killed at the scene
  • Thomas was the sole survivor but was rushed to hospital with severe injuries
  • He died last night, making him the eighth person to have been killed 
  • Investigators are working to determine why Fernandez was traveling in the wrong direction on the highway

A father-of-four whose wife and children were all killed when his van was hit in a horrific head-on collision with a wrong-way driver has also died after succumbing to critical injuries.

Thomas Dobosz, 32, of Rolling Meadows, Illinois, was driving a Chevrolet full-size van carrying his 31-year-old wife, Lauren, and five children aged 5 to 13 when it collided with a car around 2 a.m. Sunday on Interstate 90 in McHenry County, roughly 50 miles from Chicago.

Illinois State Police said Jennifer Fernandez, 22, of Carpentersville, Illinois was driving a 2010 Acura TSX the wrong way on I-90 for ‘unknown reasons’ when she smashed into Dobosz’ van. Both vehicles burst into flames on impact. 

Fernandez was found dead at the scene, state troopers said, along with all of the passengers in the van, including Thomas’ wife, four children and one other child who is believed to have been a friend of the eldest Dobosz daughter.

Thomas was the sole survivor of the crash but was rushed to Loyola University Medical Center with serious injuries to which he succumbed yesterday evening. 

Lauren Dobosz, 31, of Rolling Meadows and five children, were killed in the crash on Sunday. Her husband Thomas Dobosz, 32, who was driving the van, was seriously injured and also died in hospital on Wednesday

Lauren Dobosz, 31, of Rolling Meadows and five children, were killed in the crash on Sunday. Her husband Thomas Dobosz, 32, who was driving the van, was seriously injured and also died in hospital on Wednesday

Lauren Dobosz, 31, of Rolling Meadows and five children ages 5-13, all in a Chevrolet full-size van, were killed, according to Illinois State Police

Lauren Dobosz, 31, of Rolling Meadows and five children ages 5-13, all in a Chevrolet full-size van, were killed, according to Illinois State Police

Five children were killed in the crash Sunday, including all four of the children of Thomas and Lauren Dobosz. Lauren died at the scene, along with the children. Thomas later died in hospital

Five children were killed in the crash Sunday, including all four of the children of Thomas and Lauren Dobosz. Lauren died at the scene, along with the children. Thomas later died in hospital

The aftermath of the scene showed both vehicles had been demolished in the crash and the van was engulfed in a fire

The aftermath of the scene showed both vehicles had been demolished in the crash and the van was engulfed in a fire

Scene of the crash on I-90 when Jennifer Fernandez, 22, drove the wrong way on the highway for 'unknown reasons' and smashed into the van. Both vehicles burst into flames on impact

Scene of the crash on I-90 when Jennifer Fernandez, 22, drove the wrong way on the highway for ‘unknown reasons’ and smashed into the van. Both vehicles burst into flames on impact

Local Illinois man Alan Wiedmeyer told DailyMail.com that he was on his way to a fishing tournament in the early hours of Sunday morning when he was nearly hit head-on by a car that had made a sudden U-turn on I-90 in front of him.

‘It headed straight for me as I was in the middle lane, and luckily I was able to swerve out of the way before it hit me,’ he said, adding that he flashed his lights at them but the car kept going. ‘The cars behind me also veered out of the way just in time.’ 

Wiedmeyer said he received texts about 10-15 minutes later from fellow tournament goers who alerted him that I-90 was closed after two vehicles had collided and burst into flames. 

‘Immediately my mind went to the car going in the wrong direction,’ he said. 

‘My heart just sunk, especially finding out that five kids had lost their lives,’ Wiedmeyer said.

‘I felt guilt too that I could have stopped it and hit the other vehicle before it got to them,’ he added. 

‘I have a two-year-old of my own, and I couldn’t imagine losing a child in such a horrific accident.’

The five children who were killed in the crash were two 13-year-old girls, a 7-year-old boy, a 6-year-old boy, and a 5-year-old girl, all of Rolling Meadows. Their names have not been released.

Dobosz' children are pictured here. All four were killed, along with another child. They were aged 5-13

Dobosz’ children are pictured here. All four were killed, along with another child. They were aged 5-13

A charred van is hauled away from the scene of a crash in Illinois. A mother and five children were among the seven killed when a wrong-way driver slammed into the van early Sunday

A charred van is hauled away from the scene of a crash in Illinois. A mother and five children were among the seven killed when a wrong-way driver slammed into the van early Sunday

The fiery crash happened around 2:11 a.m. on Interstate 90 in McHenry County, Illinois, roughly 50 miles from Chicago. Seven people were killed, including five children

The fiery crash happened around 2:11 a.m. on Interstate 90 in McHenry County, Illinois, roughly 50 miles from Chicago. Seven people were killed, including five children 

‘When you find out it is people you’ve known for many years, it kind of hits a little harder,’ Dobosz family neighbor David Moreno said. 

‘Losing your family in a split-second like that is not going to be easy for anybody.’

‘My understanding is one of the eldest daughters had a friend with them,’ Moreno added. ‘I know it’s going to be devastating for the community just to know that it was somebody that people have known.’ 

Lauren Dobosz’ co-worker Kenny Felton said she started working at Lulu’s Gaming in Rolling Meadows two months ago and described her as creative and always willing to help.

‘She loved her kids and her husband,’ Felten said. ‘That was her life.’

‘He’s going to have a tough road ahead when he finds out what happened and just wish them all the best, and anything we can do, we’ll be here for them,’ he added.

Other neighbors along Owl Drive in Rolling Meadows told FOX 32 Chicago that the children would always say hello. 

They said the couple took care of elderly grandparents who had lived in the home on Owl Drive for some time.

Investigators are working to determine why Fernandez was traveling in the wrong direction in the fatal crash that caused another collision. 

A semi-truck rear-ended another semi when it stopped suddenly to let a medical helicopter land, officials said. A trailer on one of the trucks was damaged and boxes were scattered on the highway. One person suffered minor injuries.

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