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2 dead, 3 hurt in Homer Glen crash, police say

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Two members of an Orland Park family were killed and a third seriously injured Tuesday afternoon in a crash in Homer Glen that injured three other people, according to Will County sheriff’s police.

Police said the 77-year-old man and 73-year-old woman, who died were both passengers in a Hyundai that was struck head-on and then caught fire in the three-vehicle crash on 143rd Street just west of Hillcrest Road.

The victims were identified as Adrian Spaargaren and Kathleen Repsis by the Will County coroner’s office.

A Joliet man charged in connection with the crash was already facing charges stemming from an incident last September in which he allegedly fired a gun in the direction of two young women.

The Hyundai driver, a 49-year-old woman, suffered extensive injuries and was first taken to a hospital in critical condition but was to be transferred to a Chicago hospital, according to the sheriff’s office.

Spaargaren was in the front passenger seat of the Hyundai and was taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, while Repsis, who was a passenger in the back seat, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash occurred just before 5:30 p.m., and a preliminary investigation indicates a Nissan SUV driven by Chris Haramija, 37, of Joliet, was traveling west on 143rd Street when he went into oncoming traffic, police said. The Nissan first struck a Lincoln SUV, driven by a 55-year-old man who refused medical treatment at the scene, and then struck the Hyundai head on causing the engine compartment to catch fire and engulf into flames, according to police.

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Haramija was taken to an area hospital with multiple injuries, and later cited for improper lane use, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and transportation of open alcohol, the sheriff’s office reported Wednesday morning. His front seat passenger, a 41-year-old man, suffered extensive injuries and was listed in critical condition and a 33-year-old man in the back seat was also taken to an area hospital with multiple injuries, police said.

The sheriff’s office confirmed that Haramija is the same person who was charged by Will County authorities in connection with a shooting incident last September near a Mokena creek.

Haramija was charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of weapon in the Sept. 28 incident.

Sheriff’s police at the time said that he fired four to six shots at two young women after they refused to help him extricate his vehicle that was stuck in mud along a Mokena creek. The women were not injured.

The vehicle, a Nissan Xterra SUV belonging to Haramija, was later found by police stuck in the creek, and Haramija was taken into custody early Sept. 29.

Two women in their mid-20s told police they were approached by a man who asked them for help in getting his vehicle unstuck, and that when they refused he pulled out a gun and fired in their direction.

mnolan@tribpub.com



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