CHICAGO (STMW) — A Geneva man accused of being drunk when his car plunged into a west suburban Naperville pond initially pointed the finger at his two friends who drowned as a result of the crash, according to prosecutors.
Michael Szot, 21, told police “he had given his keys to irresponsible friends” after the trio spent several hours drinking at a Naperville bar, prosecutors stated in a recent court filing. Investigators used a seat-belt bruise, and other evidence, to determine Szot was behind the wheel of his 2007 Chevy Impala at the time of the crash during the early morning hours of July 19.
Sajaad Syed, 21, of Naperville, and Mihirtej Boddupalli, 21, of Lisle, drowned when the car sunk 40 feet to the bottom of a water-filled quarry near downtown Naperville.
A DuPage County grand jury indicted Szot on multiple count of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs last week. Szot, who is free on $250,000 bail, is scheduled to return to court next month.
Court records indicate Szot’s blood-alcohol content level was .14 — above the state’s legal limit of .08 — at the hospital after the crash. Subsequent toxicology reports showed his BAC to be at .096, while Szot also tested positive for marijuana in his system, court documents show. Prosecutors attempted to have Szot’s bail increased after the results were learned, but a judge declined to raise the amount or place him on home confinement or have hime placed on GPS tracking.
Szot and his two friends arrived at a Naperville bar between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. on July 18 and remained into the early hours of July 19. Before leaving around 1:30 a.m., Szot drank eight or nine beers, as well as rum shots, prosecutors said. He had also smoked marijuana during the course of the night, according to prosecutors.
Just before 2 a.m., a witness reported seeing Szot’s car pass her vehicle like a “white streak” near Eagle Street and Aurora Avenue. The Impala then went off the road, through a fence and down an embankment into the water-filled quarry.
“(Szot) escaped from the driver’s side window leaving his two passengers trapped alive in his sinking car,” prosecutors wrote in the bond-increase motion.
At the hospital, Szot asked if “his car was drowning” but did not ask about his friends, the documents state.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)