NU student charged with reckless homicide, DUI in crash that killed 2
BY MITCHELL ARMENTROUT Staff Reporter July 19, 2014 12:45PM
Police talk to aperson after a car drove into a west suburban lake early Saturday. / photo from Network Video Productions
Updated: July 20, 2014 10:59PM
A Northwestern University student was ordered held on $250,000 bond Sunday after driving into a Naperville lake early Saturday. Two passengers in the car, including another Northwestern student, died in the crash.
Michael T. Szot, 21, faces four charges of aggravated DUI and two counts of reckless homicide, according to the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office. He is a senior at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, according to university spokesman Bob Rowley.
Szot was behind the wheel of a 2007 Chevrolet Impala about 1:45 a.m. Saturday with two other men in the car when he “failed to successfully navigate the southwest curve” of Aurora Avenue near Eagle Street in Naperville, crashing through several trees and driving into Quarry Lake, according to police and prosecutors.
Szot, of Geneva, got out of the car and swam to safety, but his two passengers drowned, authorities said.
Szot was treated for minor injuries at the scene. His blood-alcohol content was above the legal limit, and he admitted to smoking marijuana earlier that day, prosecutors said. He allegedly was in possession of a marijuana pipe when he was arrested.
Mihirtej Boddupalli, of southwest suburban Lisle, and Sajaad Syed,of Naperville, were pronounced dead at Edward Hospital in Naperville, police said. Both men were 21.
Boddupalli also was a senior at Northwestern’s McCormick School, according to Rowley.
“This is a terrible tragedy and a tremendous loss,” according to a statement from the university. “Northwestern University extends our condolences to Mihirtej Boddupalli’s family and friends. The loss of any one member of our community affects us all.”
Szot could face up to 28 years in prison if convicted, according to the state’s attorney’s office. His next court date is Aug. 11.