Naperville Man Pleads Guilty in Fatal Crash

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Naperville resident Joseph Kucharski pleaded guilty today to aggravated DUI and reckless homicide in a crash that killed Downers Grove North student Elizabeth “Beth” Dunlap.

Change in Plea:

Kucharski had previously entered a plea of not guilty in March.

Today in DuPage County Court he changed his plea, taking responsibility for the death of the 17-year-old in the fatal crash on February 19, 2019. Investigators say Kucharski’s blood alcohol content was 0.031 at the time of the crash. Police found Xanax, Benadryl and suboxone in his car, and crack pipes and crack cocaine in a hotel room where he had been staying,

The crash happened at 10:55 a.m. on Main Street in Downers Grove, when Beth was crossing the street to go to school. Officials say Kucharski drove through a red light in the wrong lane, striking her. She later died from her injuries.

Sentencing Scheduled:

Kucharski faces up to 14 years in prison. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on March 6.