Man is guilty in teen’s death while driving under influence

January 10, 2020 GMT

WHEATON, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago man has pleaded guilty to reckless homicide charges for striking a high school student while driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

DuPage County prosecutors say Joseph Kucharski of Naperville on Thursday entered his guilty plea in the death of 17-year-old Elizabeth Dunlap before Judge Liam Brennan. He initially pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Dunlap was a student at Downers Grove North High School who was in a crosswalk near the school when Kucharski’s vehicle went through a red light and struck her. Kucharski remained at the scene of the incident after the crash.

Investigators into the incident determined Kucharski’s blood alcohol content was .031 at the time of the crash. Police also found two crack pikes, crack cocaine and other drugs in a hotel room when Kucharski was staying.

Prosecutors say Kucharski is scheduled for sentencing March 6, and faces up to 14 years in prison.