CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - No felony criminal charges will be filed against a Herrin, Illinois man in connection to a crash that killed two teens, according to Jackson County State's Attorney Michael C. Carr.
On December 5, 2015, at about 8:25 p.m., two Carbondale teens, Gavin Flynn and Ryan Reed, were hit by a westbound vehicle driven by Timothy O'Boyle. The boys were walking south across the passing lane just past the intersection of Illinois Route 13 and Reeds Station Road.
According to a press release from the state's attorney's office, O'Boyle told officers at the scene that he was on his way to Carbondale to pick up a pizza he had ordered.
He said he was looking down at his speedometer and looked up as he hit something. He said, at the time, he was unsure if he had hit a deer or a person.
According to the press release, O'Boyle voluntarily provided a blood and urine sample to be tested. At the time, he told officers he had been prescribed medications, but claimed that he had not taken them before driving.
The investigation found that hospital tests taken immediately following the crash indicated O'Boyle did not have any drugs or alcohol in his blood.
The test indicated he had some drugs: hydrocodone, dihydrocodeine, gabapentin, cyclobenzaprine and fluconazole in his urine. However, under Illinois law, the prosecution for aggravated DUI of Drugs can occur either by proving the the drugs impaired his performance or by showing that unlawful drugs were present.
According to the investigation findings, O'Boyle did not show any signs of impairment on the night of the crash and test results from the crime lab confirmed that he was not impaired.
He also provided investigators with a written consent to search his phone. Police say the search revealed that he called a pizza restaurant at 8:16 p.m. that lasted one minute and 21 seconds. He also sent a text message at 8:16 p.m.
O'Boyle told officers he made the call and sent the text while at a car wash in Carterville, Ill.
When asked if he was looking at his phone at the time of the crash, O'Boyle told officers that he was not.
Police say his statements were consistent with phone records.
According to the press release, there was a witness facing eastbound in the left-hand turn lane, waiting to turn north on Reeds Station Road. The witness saw O'Boyle's car go west, through the intersection, in the left lane. The headlights were on and the stop light was yellow when O'Boyle went through the intersection.
The press release states the teens were not hit in the intersection, but a short distance west of it. Both were wearing dark clothing, and allegedly neither increased his walking pace in the face of an oncoming car.
The investigation also found that the sun set on Dec. 5 at about 4:38 p.m. and despite light poles and lighting from nearby businesses, the east side of the intersection, where the teens crossed, was darker.
There were no crosswalks for pedestrians or pedestrian crossing signs.
After the investigation, authorities also found that Reed and Flynn were almost hit at 8:22 p.m., several minutes before this incident, by a different driver as they walked across Route 13, near the same intersection, going northbound.
They also found that O'Boyle was going approximately 65 miles per hour when the incident happened. They say if O'Boyle had been going the posted speed of 45 miles per hour, the victims would have cleared the road.
The investigation concluded that the cause of the incident was a combination of Flynn and Reed crossing the road against traffic signals and speeding by O'Boyle.
According to the release from the state's attorney's office:
"Unfortunately, the facts of this case do not explain why two young adults crossed a dangerous highway at night, wearing dark clothing, against the light, in the path of an oncoming, fully illuminated car and did not alter their pace to avoid being hit. The circumstances also show that Mr. O'Boyle was speeding, but his speeding did not, in this case, constitute the 'recklessness' required for a reckless homicide charge."
Carr said all drivers on Route 13 should consider what happened in this case. He said intersections on Route 13 pose special risks, and experts with the Department of Transportation determined that a reduced speed when approaching those intersections would make for safer travel in those areas.