Man Who Drove 135 mph in Fatal Crash Set Free on Bail

Ivan Pentchoukov
By Ivan Pentchoukov
October 24, 2017USshare
Man Who Drove 135 mph in Fatal Crash Set Free on Bail
Brian Thunderkick (L) has been charged with reckless homicide for causing a fiery crash that killed Erika Villagomez (R). (DuPage County Sheriff's Office and GoFundMe)

The man who allegedly drove 135 miles per hour in a fiery crash that killed a 23-year-old woman was released on bail, Chicago Tribune reported, citing officials.

Police released 62-year-old Brian Thunderkick from the DuPage County Jail after the man posted $15,000, or 10 percent, of his $150,000 bail.

Thunderkick is scheduled to face Judge George Bakalis at 9 a.m. next Monday, Oct. 30, according to DuPage County State’s Attorney spokesman Paul Darrah.

Prosecutors wanted to set Thunderkick’s bail higher, but Bakalis denied the request.

NTD Photo
Erika Villagomez (GoFundMe)

Assistant State District Attorney Kristin Johnston argued that Thunderkick may be charged with aggravated driving under the influence, a serious felony. Bakalis replied that if that was the case he would do so, but the facts of the case have not changed since another judge set the bail.

Investigators found barbiturates in Thunderkick’s system, but police are awaiting the results of substance tests to file official charges.

Thunderkick was driving a Chevrolet Camaro at 135 mph on Butterfield Road in Wheaton on Sept. 30 when he rear-ended a Honda Accord driven by Erika Villagomez, 23, of Elgin. The crash set the Honda on fire with Villagomez trapped inside, police say.

NTD Photo
Brian Thunderkick (DuPage County Sheriff’s Office)

After the crash, Thunderkick told a woman who approached him to get away and that he was leaving. Bystanders detained him until police arrived.

Prosecutors charged Thunderkick with one count of reckless homicide.

The victim’s cousin started a GoFundMe campaign in honor of Villagomez. The page raised $3,300 as of Oct. 24, with a goal of $10,000.

According to the page, Villagomez was set to graduate Northern Illinois University in the spring.

“She was a cheerful young lady with a warm heart and loving spirit,” the pages states. “Erika’s life was cut short due to the careless act of another individual’s reckless driving. This tragedy has left a lot of sadness within our family and friends.”

After graduating, Villagomez planned to help her siblings get an education as well. Funds from the GoFundMe page will be used in part for funeral expenses and in part to help her siblings.

“Keep our family in your thoughts and celebrate the life of a young woman who has gone home too soon,” the page states. “We love you, Erika! May you Rest in Peace!”

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