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Driver who crashed at 142 mph in Naperville receives probation


Updated: March 28, 2013 6:42AM

A man who crashed his car at a speed of 142 mph last winter in Naperville has been placed on two years of court supervision and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service work in that case.

Motorist Dean A. Suominen must also undergo alcohol abuse counseling, appear before a DuPage County crime victim impact panel and pay a total of $4,318 in fines, legal costs and reimbursement to the city of Naperville, Assistant City Attorney Mike DiSanto said.

Suominen, 37, of Shorewood, pleaded guilty Tuesday in DuPage County Circuit Court to misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving, DiSanto said. Judge James J. Konetski accepted Suominen’s plea and imposed his sentence.

The Sun last February revealed police retrieved the “event data recorder” from what remained of Suominen’s orange, 2008 Dodge Charger following the Jan. 10, 2012 crash near Ogden Avenue and Rickert Drive.

Police Sgt. Lee Martin said the device is similar to the “black boxes” borne by commercial airliners. It indicated Suominen was driving at a speed of 142 mph when his car crashed and then disintegrated, Martin said last year.

The speed limit in the area is posted at 40 mph.

Police and firefighters just before 1 a.m. that day found Suominen trapped in the Charger’s wreckage in the yard of a home on the 500 block of Chamberlain Lane. That is in the Prairie Lakes area of town, only blocks south and west of the city’s main police and fire campus.

Martin said police determined Suominen was driving east on Ogden Avenue and approaching Rickert Drive when his car left the road. It struck a traffic light and curb at the intersection’s southeast corner, “losing contact with the ground” as it did so, Martin said.

The airborne car continued east over a parkway and hit the curb of a private driveway, “losing contact with the ground a second time” before rolling over and striking a billboard post and a fence, Martin said.

Martin added the car’s engine and one of its tires then broke free, tumbling into the parking lot of the Chamberlain Lane address. The passenger-side door of a parked, unoccupied 2001 Audi was damaged in the process, he said.

Paramedics took Suominen to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries. Martin said no bystanders or other drivers were hurt.

The Charger was equipped with a “large” engine, one Martin said was likely in the 5.7-liter range.

DiSanto said Suominen’s driver’s license was suspended for a year, after he refused to submit to field sobriety tests following the crash.

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