Light Rain Fog/Mist
43°FLight Rain Fog/MistFull Forecast

Driver charged with DUI after fatal I-80 crash

Published: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

MINOOKA – The driver whose passenger died in a crash that closed Interstate 80 for hours Thursday morning was arrested for drunken driving.

Jaroslaw Mietus, 28, of Hickory Hills was arrested on a charge of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol after being treated for minor injuries at Morris Hospital, according to State Police Master Sgt. Scott Angus.

At 5:25 a.m. Mietus was driving west in a 2000 Ford F150 pickup near Ridge Road at milepost 118 when he struck the back of a 2006 Freightline semitrailer parked on the shoulder and bounced back into the path of a 2005 Lexus Rx330.

The Lexus driver, a 60-year-old Crest Hill man, and the semitrailer driver, a 40-year-old East Sparta man, also were taken to Morris Hospital and treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

Mietus’ passenger, Rafal M. Szczepaniak, 26, of Bridgeview was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:45 a.m., according to the Grundy County Coroner’s Office.

The crash closed westbound I-80 until 10 a.m. between Ridge and Brisbin roads, Angus said.

Get breaking and town-specific news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from the Morris Daily Herald.