University Park Man Charged with Aggravated DUI Resulting in Death and Reckless Homicide

Jan 3, 2024Press Release


COOK COUNTY, IL – A 59-year-old man was charged Aggravated DUI Resulting in Death and Reckless Homicide following a Sheriff’s Police investigation into a fatal vehicle crash that occurred late last month, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

At approximately 8:27 a.m. on Dec. 16, 2023, Sheriff’s Police responded to a multi-vehicle crash near the intersection of Sauk Trail and Western Avenue in unincorporated Bloom Township. Upon arrival, officers found 71-year-old Walter Smith, of Thornton, with multiple injuries and three vehicles with extensive damage. The victim was transported by ambulance to a local area hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.

Upon further investigation, officers learned that the offender Terence Smith (no relation to the victim), of University Park, was headed westbound on Sauk Trail at a high rate of speed and attempted to pass another vehicle when he struck the victim’s vehicle. The force of the impact caused the victim’s vehicle to strike another vehicle. The driver of the third vehicle refused medical attention on the scene.

 Terence Smith was transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries and was found to have a blood alcohol content greater than .08.

 On Jan. 1, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approved charges of Aggravated DUI Resulting in Death, a Class 2 Felony, and Reckless Homicide, a Class 3 Felony.

 Smith is scheduled to appear at the Markham Courthouse today for an initial appearance on the charges.

The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.