Man charged with DUI in crash that left 9-year-old girl dead

SHARE Man charged with DUI in crash that left 9-year-old girl dead
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Anthony S. Potochney | Aurora police

A 25-year-old man has been charged with driving drunk and causing a crash that left a 9-year-old girl dead Friday night in west suburban Aurora.

Anthony S. Potochney was charged with four counts of aggravated DUI, two counts of DUI, and one count of leaving the scene of a crash, all felonies, according to Aurora police.

Potochney was driving a 2003 Cadillac Deville south on Broadway Avenue near Pierce Street in downtown Aurora about 9:10 p.m. when the Deville drifted into the northbound lanes, a statement from police said.

The driver of a 2009 Toyota Sienna minivan in the northbound lanes tried to avoid the Cadillac by making a sharp turn to the left, but the Cadillac hit the minivan on its passenger side, police said. The minivan then crashed into a building on the west side of Broadway.

A passenger in the minivan, 9-year-old Katie Jonak of Aurora, was taken to Mercy Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 9:44 p.m., police said.

Two other children in the minivan, ages 10 and 12, were also taken to Mercy with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Katie’s mother, who was driving the minivan, refused medical treatment.

Potochney, of the 900 block of North Avenue in Aurora, ran away after the crash, but was taken into custody near the High Street Bridge that crosses the Burlington Northern railroad tracks, police said.

He showed signs of intoxication when he was arrested and was taken to Rush Copley Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Authorities have not ruled out upgraded charges.

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