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Bond Set At $750,000 For Naperville Man Charged In Death Of Downers Grove Teenager Beth Dunlap

CHICAGO (CBS)--Bond was set Tuesday at $750,000 for a Naperville man charged in the death of Downers Grove North High School student Beth Dunlap. 

Beth Dunlap

Downers Grove police said Dunlap, 17, was crossing the intersection of Main and Grant streets in a marked crosswalk near her high school the morning of Feb. 20 when she was struck by a vehicle driven by Joseph Kucharski, 51.

Joseph Kucharski
(DuPage County State's Attorney)

Dunlap died from her injuries two days later, according to the DuPage County State's Attorney's office.

Kucharski allegedly was driving drunk with a BAC of .031 that morning when he drove southbound into the oncoming traffic lanes and ran a red light where Dunlap was crossing the street.

He stopped after his vehicle struck the teenager, and police said he showed signs of being impaired.

Authorities searched his hotel room after the accident and found two crack pipes, crack cocaine and other drugs.

Kucharski was charged with one count of felony aggravated DUI--alcohol/drugs causing death and one count of felony reckless driving.

Those charges carry between three and 14 years in prison if he's convicted, according to the state's attorney.

Downers Grove North principal Janice Schwarze described this week as "incredibly difficult" in the online statement to students, parents and staff. The school came together for 18 seconds of silence on Friday to honor Dunlap, whose volleyball jersey was number 18.

Students were encouraged to honor Dunlap by doing something positive 18 times, whether donating $18 to a charity or performing 18 acts of kindness, according to the school's website.

In her online message, Schwarze noted Dunlap's family's decision to donate her organs.

"Those who know Beth know that she was a fierce competitor and a strong person. As hard as this loss is for all of us, I believe that she would want us to be strong and take care of each other. In fact, Beth's family has ensured that she will take care of others by donating her organs. While this tragedy has forever changed the lives of many in our community, the lives of other people have new hope because of Beth."






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