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Update: Plano man killed in head-on collision near Sandwich identified, woman charged with DUI

Sandwich woman charged with DUI drugs, remains hospitalized Tuesday evening following crash

SANDWICH – A Plano man is dead after a three-vehicle crash Tuesday, and a Sandwich woman is charged with driving under the influence of drugs after police say her car crossed the center line and caused a head-on collision.

DeKalb County sheriff and coroner officials released the names of those involved Tuesday evening.

Gary J. Schmidt, 44, of the first block of Blackhawk Springs Drive, Plano, was identified as the person who died, according to a Tuesday news release from the sheriff’s office. Police also confirmed Schmidt was the driver of the sedan that was hit head-on by a Sandwich resident who since has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs.

DeKalb County Sheriff’s Lt. Jim Burgh said Tuesday evening investigators know what category of drugs Britnie K. Arend, 31, of the 300 block of West First Street, Sandwich, was under the influence of. However, he declined to comment on what category that is or what specific drugs Arend was under the influence of, citing privacy concerns and the continuing investigation.

“It still has to be sent out for lab testing,” Burgh said.

Burgh said the DUI charge was for drugs and not alcohol.

Police confirmed that Schmidt was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Tuesday news release.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a motor vehicle accident at 11:11 a.m. Tuesday on East Sandwich Road south of Chicago Road, according to the release.

A vehicle driven by Arend was driving south on East Sandwich Road and crossed the center line into the northbound lane, sidesweeping a rental box truck driven by Christopher K. Jason, 36, of the 400 block of DeKalb Street, Sandwich. The vehicle driven by Arend continued into the northbound lane, striking another vehicle driven by Schmidt head on.

Jason and passenger Ricardo Ramos-Moctezuma, 30, of the 1600 block of Northpoint Drive, Aurora, in the box truck were treated and released on scene by Sandwich Fire Protection District officials, according to the release. Arend was flown from the scene to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.

After further investigation, Arend later was charged with driving while under the influence, and remains at the hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening, according to the release.

Burgh confirmed that Tuesday evening that there is no available jail mug shot for Arend because Arend still is hospitalized.

There was no passenger listed in Arend’s vehicle, according to the Tuesday news release.

The incident remains under investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and DeKalb County Coroner’s Office.

The update comes after East Sandwich Road near Sandwich remained closed as of about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday because of the crash that killed one person and injured one other person.

According to initial reports, there was a vehicle crash involving one person trapped inside one car and assumed to be in critical condition. Police officials on scene confirmed one death related to the crash.

DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller said an autopsy is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Burgh said earlier Tuesday afternoon three vehicles – two sedans and a box rental truck – were involved in the crash. He said the truck and one sedan was traveling north on East Sandwich Road and the other sedan was traveling south on the road.

Burgh said the southbound sedan struck the back end of the truck and caused minor damage to the truck.

“But it hit the car behind the truck head on,” Burgh said.

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