Joliet man charged after fatally striking man lying in road

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(ROCKDALE) A southwest suburban man has been charged with leaving the scene after fatally striking a man who was lying in the road Monday night.

Daniel Lietke, 31, and a friend had been walking along the side of Larkin Avenue just north of Mound Road in Rockdale, when Lietke walked into the roadway and lay down on his back in the middle of the lane, the Will County sheriff’s office said.

One northbound vehicle managed to avoid him, but a second vehicle, an Oldsmobile Pacifica also heading north, ran over Lietke about 10:55 p.m., a statement from the sheriff’s office said.

Lietke, of the 300 block of Bruce Road in Lockport, was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. An autopsy Tuesday found he suffered multiple injuries, but did not make a final ruling on cause or manner of death pending toxicological tests and police reports.

The driver of the Oldsmobile did not stop, but was pulled over about an hour later by Joliet police, the sheriff’s office said.

That driver, 37-year-old Vernon Howard of Joliet, was driving on a suspended license and has been charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, a felony, according to the sheriff’s office. Additional charges may be filed.

Howard was ordered held on a $250,000 bond in court Wednesday, according to the state’s attorney’s office. He is next scheduled to appear in court Sept. 17.

One of the Oldsmobile’s passengers, 26-year-old Mark Pierce of Joliet, was arrested on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court regarding a traffic matter, police said.

Both the victim and the driver of the Oldsmobile had consumed alcohol prior to the incident, Will County Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas said Wednesday. Authorities are awaiting test results to determine to what extent alcohol played a role in the accident.

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