Police cleared in fatal Fox Lake crash stemming from Wisconsin chase

Theopolis Owens sped off from an attempted traffic stop, lost control of his vehicle and crashed into several trees, killing himself and one of his passengers, authorities said.

SHARE Police cleared in fatal Fox Lake crash stemming from Wisconsin chase
Police were cleared of wrongdoing in a fatal crash that killed two people on Route 173 near Converse Road Oct. 20, 2019.

Police were cleared of wrongdoing in a fatal crash that killed two people on Route 173 near Converse Road Oct. 20, 2019.

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Investigators found no wrongdoing by police in a chase last year before a crash that killed two people in northwest suburban Fox Lake.

Fox Lake police and Lake County prosecutors determined the Genoa City, Wisconsin, officer who tried stopping 28-year-old Theopolis Owens for speeding Oct. 20, 2019, didn’t do anything to cause the fatal crash, according to a statement from Fox Lake police.

“It has been determined that the criminal actions of and criminal fault for these tragic events rest solely with Mr. Owens,” Fox Lake Police Chief Jimmy Lee wrote in the statement Thursday. “Mr. Owens had the opportunity at all times prior to the collision to simply stop fleeing.”

No officers will face criminal charges or be considered liable in the crash, police said.

Officers tried to pull Owens over for speeding in Genoa City, Wisconsin, Lee and the Lake County coroner’s office said at the time. Owens, who lived in Chicago, refused to stop and led police on a chase into northern Illinois. As he passed through Spring Grove on Route 173, a local officer joined the pursuit.

Owens lost control of the Toyota Camry about 7:20 p.m. in Fox Lake, hitting a guardrail and several trees on Route 173 near Converse Road, authorities said.

Owens and his passenger, 18-year-old Kayla Crews of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, were both pronounced dead at Northern Illinois Medical Center, according to police and the coroner’s office. A second passenger, who lived in Waukegan, was seriously injured and underwent surgery.

An autopsy found that both Owens and Crews died of blunt-force injuries caused by the wreck.

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