Drowning has been announced as the preliminary cause of death in the Saturday morning crash that took the lives of two young men after the car they were in plunged into a water-filled quarry near downtown Naperville.
Deputy DuPage County Coronor Charlie Bastych Monday afternoon confirmed that drowing is the preliminary cause of death of Sajaad Syed, 21, of Naperville, and Mihirtej Boddupalli, 21, of Lisle,
Bastych said the definitive cause of death would not be known for one or two weeks, pending the results of toxicological testing.
The driver of the vehicle, Michael Szot, 21, of Geneva, posted bail Monday and was released from DuPage County Jail.
Szot has been charged with aggravated DUI and reckless homicide after he allegedly lost control of his vehicle at around 1:45 a.m. Saturday while traveling westbound on Aurora Avenue in Naperville.
Police say that Szot approached the southwest curve of Aurora Avenue near the Eagle Street intersection, failed to navigate the curve and plunged into the quarry lake.
His two friends were unable to escape from the car. Divers discovered the bodies of Syed and Boddupalli still in the vehicle at the bottom of the lake. Szot was taken into police custody.
An investigation into the crash alleges at the time of the crash Szot’s blood alcohol content was above the legal limit of .08.
Szot had also admitted to smoking marijuana earlier that day and he was found to be in possession of a marijuana pipe, according to the state’s attorney’s office.
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said Sunday it is a senseless tragedy.
“Early yesterday morning, two young men tragically lost their lives because of a very bad decision made by an alleged drunk driver,” Berlin said.
“People have got to learn that DUI crashes are not accidents and are 100 percent avoidable by not drinking before you get behind the wheel of a car. My sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of Sajaad Syed and Mihirtej Boddupalli on their loss,” Berlin said.
Szot appeared in bond court Sunday before Judge Timothy McJoynt. The state had asked for a bond of $3 million. Szot faces a maximum penalty of up to 28 years in jail.
A memorial has been set up at the site where the car went through a fence and into the water. It includes a number of jerseys and photos.Tags: DUI, quarry accident