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Woman files wrongful death suit for fatal DUI crash in Oak Brook

The wife of a man killed in a west suburban crash last year is suing the driver — her late husband’s friend.

Thomas Fitzsimons, then 48, was sitting as passenger in his own vehicle about midnight on Sept. 21, 2013 as his friend, William Decero, drove, authorities said at the time. Decero, then 49, lost control on Spring Road near 31st Street in Oak Brook, causing the vehicle to swerve off the road and crash into a wooded area.

A neighbor called 911, and police found both men still in the vehicle with their seatbelts on, authorities said at the time. Fitzsimons was dead at the scene.

Decero, of Downer’s Grove, was treated for injuries at a hospital before he was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI involving death, authorities previously said. His bond was set at $750,000.

Decero’s court case is pending, according to DuPage County court records. His next court date is Oct. 27.

Fitzsimon’s wife, Maureen Fitzsimons, claims Decero was speeding and failed to stop the vehicle in time to avoid going off the road, according to the lawsuit she filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court.

She claims her husband’s death has caused loss of companionship and “guidance, attention, advice” for her and their two children.

Fitzsimons was a partner with the Greer Burns & Crain law firm in Chicago, and had been with the firm since 2001. Paul Juettner, a partner at Green Burns & Crain, worked with Fitzsimons for 12 years at that firm and 16 years in total.

“He was a great friend and a wonderful partner,” Juettner said at the time. “He was just a super all-around guy; he will be deeply missed by many.”

Decero could not be reached Monday evening for comment. If convicted, Decero faces up to 14 years in prison, authorities previously said.

Maureen Fitzsimons is asking for an unspecified amount of damages in the one-count, wrongful death suit.