First reported 6/15/2009 2:26 p.m.
Authorities are investigating the death of a Forest Park teen who was apparently shot in the chest before he drove off the road during the early morning hours of Sunday, June 14.
Johnathan Ollech, 18, drove through a fence and into a tree at about 3 a.m. near the intersection of 21st Avenue and Bataan Drive in Maywood, according to police. A nearby resident who heard the crash found Ollech semi-conscious in the driver’s seat and called 911. Maywood Police Chief Tim Curry said doctors at Loyola University Medical Center, where Ollech was taken, discovered a small puncture wound in his chest. Initially, investigators were baffled by the injury. An autopsy performed Monday confirmed Ollech had been shot, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. The death has been ruled a homicide.
Ollech was pronounced dead at the hospital just before 4 a.m. June 14, said Curry.
Ollech was a lifelong resident of Forest Park and lived with his father in the 800 block of Ferdinand. Neighbors and friends said the family has lived in the same home for many years. A woman who answered the door at the home Monday afternoon, Ollech’s half-sister, said the family was too distraught to speak with the media.
Karen Bukowski, principal of Forest Park Middle School, remembered Ollech as a friendly kid who was interested in mechanics and technical work. During each school play, she said, Ollech would help with the lighting and sound.
The family lives a short distance from the middle school, and Bukowski said Ollech continued to demonstrate his “good heart.”
“He also always, when we had a car wash, would come with his car and then come back with his dad’s car,” Bukowski said.
A spokesperson for Proviso Township High School District said Ollech graduated from Proviso East in 2008 after transferring there his senior year.
According to Curry, police believe that Ollech was returning from Wisconsin where he may have been participating in street racing. It was not immediately clear why Ollech was in the Maywood neighborhood. The crash site is near Bellwood and Broadview, said Curry, so investigators aren’t sure where exactly Ollech may have been when he was shot.
“I don’t think this is a hopeless situation,” Curry said of the inquiry. “We’ve got some leads we’re following.”
The gunshot wound likely was sustained immediately prior to the accident and is not believed to be connected to Ollech’s trip to Wisconsin. Authorities found no evidence of drugs or alcohol at the crash scene, said Curry.