Open in App
  • Local
  • U.S.
  • Election
  • Politics
  • Crime
  • Sports
  • Lifestyle
  • Education
  • Real Estate
  • Newsletter

    Driver was going 131 mph before wreck that killed Illinois 17-year-old ahead of graduation: Police

    By Jonathan Limehouse, USA TODAY,


    A 17-year-old high school senior in Illinois will be mourned at his graduation in June after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver who was speeding in a "reckless manner," police said.

    Taeyoung Kim, 21, is accused of killing Marko Niketic, a senior at Glenbrook South High School, on Mother's Day, the Glenview Police Department said in a news release .
    Portrait of 17-year-old Marko Niketic. Courtesy of Jonny Castro Art

    Kim was charged Friday with two counts of aggravated DUI causing death, reckless homicide, aggravated DUI causing great bodily harm, reckless driving, speeding, driving without lights when required, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and improper lane usage, according to police.

    The crash happened around 11 p.m. when Kim, who was driving his vehicle at a high rate of speed, struck Marko's vehicle near an intersection, police said. Marko was pronounced dead at the scene while the passengers in both vehicles were taken to hospitals in critical condition, according to the department.

    Kim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, police said. Glenview police are still investigating the crash.

    The passenger in Niketic's vehicle was his girlfriend, WFLD reported. She suffered severe injuries, including a brain bleed and broken pelvis, the Chicago, Illinois-based TV station said.

    Marko Niketic was 'always with smile'

    Glenbrook South High School's graduation is expected to take place on June 2 at the Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, Illinois, according to the school's website.

    A Glenbrook High School District 225 spokesperson told USA TODAY that Marko would have graduated on June 2. The school district said it is "not providing a statement to the media."

    "(Marko) will be dearly missed by all of his Kumovi, family, and friends in the United States and in Serbia," according to the teenager's obituary .

    Rev. Darko Spasojevic spoke at Marko's funeral on Thursday and said he was an active and beloved member of the church, ABC 7 Chicago reported.

    "He was always with smile, very open, very smart (and) really gifted," Spasojevic said, according to ABC 7 Chicago . "One common theme is that he had an energy and charisma to bring children and people together."

    Taeyoung Kim reached speed of over 130 mph

    Kim was driving 131 mph with his headlights turned off right before he crashed into Marko's vehicle, prosecutors said, according to WFLD. The speed limit in the area Kim was driving in was 35 mph.

    During Kim's first court appearance on Saturday, Judge David Kelly called the crash "a fast and furious deadly accident," WFLD reported. He added how Kim weaponized his vehicle deliberately and that his actions displayed a "brazen disregard to human life," the TV station said.

    Kim's attorney, James Kuhn, translated for the 21-year-old's father and said he wants to give "sincere apologies and condolence to all the victims' families."

    "He's blaming a lot on himself as a father, maybe a lack of supervision," Kuhn said for Kim's father.

    This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Driver was going 131 mph before wreck that killed Illinois 17-year-old ahead of graduation: Police

    Expand All
    Comments / 0
    Add a Comment
    Most Popular newsMost Popular

    Comments / 0