Man faces felony DUI charges in Aurora crash that killed girl

By Erika Wurst For Chronicle Media

A 25-year-old Aurora man is facing seven felony charges following an alleged drunken driving crash that killed a 9-year-old Aurora girl on Friday night.

Anthony S. Potochney, 900 block of North Avenue, is charged with four counts of aggravated DUI, two counts of DUI, and a single count of leaving the scene of a crash. Authorities have not ruled out upgraded charges.

The crash occurred around 9:10 p.m. Friday, said Aurora Police Department spokesman Dan Ferrelli

According Ferrelli , 9-year-old Katie Jonak, 2900 block of Arbor Lane, Aurora, was riding in a 2009 Toyota Sienna minivan that was being driven northbound on Route 25 by her mother, 40-year-old Tonia Jonak.

Two Batavia girls, ages 10 and 12, were also inside the vehicle. The group was on their way home from a church function, Ferrelli said.

A preliminary investigation revealed that a southbound 2003 Cadillac Deville, driven by Potochney, drifted into the northbound lanes. Jonak tried to avoid striking the Cadillac by making a sharp turn to the left, but was unsuccessful.

The Cadillac hit the minivan on its passenger side where Katie Jonak was sitting. Tonia Jonak not able to stop her van until she hit a building on the west side of Broadway.

Ferrelli said that following the crash, Potochney ran from the scene. Witnesses were able to assist Aurora police in the suspect’s quick capture by providing officers with his description. Potochney was found near the High Street Bridge, which crosses the Burlington Northern Railroad tracks a short distance away.

He allegedly displayed signs of intoxication when he was being taken into custody, according to police.

At the crash scene, Aurora Fire Department Paramedics rushed Katie Jonak, along with the two other girls, to Presence Mercy Medical Center for treatment. Katie was pronounced dead at 9:44 p.m. The other two children suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Tonia Jonak refused medical treatment. The 25-year-old man was taken to Rush Copley Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.




— Man faces felony DUI charges in Aurora crash that killed girl —