Five injured after truck crashes into McHenry Starbucks

By Gregory Harutunian For Chronicle Media


The Starbuck’s Coffee at 4305 W. Elm in McHenry is cordoned off, following a vehicle crashing into the building on Jan. 16. The shop, which opened only two months ago, will remain closed until further notice. (Photo by Gregory Harutunian/for Chronicle Media)

Five people were injured, one critically, when a medical emergency caused a 53-year old man to slam into the front area and drive-thru lane of a Starbuck’s Coffee in McHenry, with his full-size Dodge Ram pick-up truck.

The accident occurred Jan. 16, at approximately 4:40 p.m., and brought more than one dozen first responder emergency crews alerted through the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS), from McHenry and Lake counties.

The critically-injured individual was a 21-year old employee working in the drive-thru lane, and was pulled from beneath the truck. He was air-lifted to Advocate Condell Medical Center Libertyville, where he was listed in stable condition as of Jan. 18.

Three other individuals were taken to Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital, and are also in stable condition. Another person was treated at the scene and released.

“No tickets or citations have been issued, and the name of the individual is not being released, as it was determined to be a medical emergency,” said Patrick Polidori, the McHenry Police Department’s public information officer. “There was no criminal intent, and the investigation is pretty much complete, at this point. Four of the injured individuals are in stable condition, and were kept overnight for observation.

“The city of McHenry Planning and Development Department will be making its evaluation on the structural damage,” he said. “Emergency crews responded quickly.”

The McHenry Police Department and the McHenry Township Fire Protection District’s personnel were logged at 4:42 p.m., on the scene at 4305 W. Elm (Route 120) Street.

A Jan. 17 press release from the McHenry Police stated, “Initial information showed the Dodge Ram was traveling westbound on W. Elm Street, and left the roadway east of the intersection of W. Elm Street and Oak Drive. The vehicle continued westbound, while off the roadway, and collided with the northeast corner of Starbucks, after striking a white Nissan SUV which was in the drive-thru area…fire and rescue personnel did succeed in extracting one patient from under the Dodge Ram. In total, five injuries were reported on scene.”

The individual in the white Nissan SUV waiting in the drive-thru lane, when the accident occurred, was treated for minor injuries. The driver of the pick-up truck, a former Lakemoor resident, now living in Wonder Lake, was also treated at Northwestern Medicine. Police would not disclose the nature of the medical emergency, due to privacy laws.

The McHenry County Regional Major Crash Investigation Team, comprised of personnel from multiple local law enforcement agencies, made the determination regarding the accident.

A statement from Starbuck’s coffee, said, in part, “We are deeply saddened this happened at one of our stores. Our focus right now is supporting our partners (employees) and customers impacted.”

The store is closed while an appraisal of its condition is made by city personnel and insurance company damage adjusters. The building housing the Starbuck’s Coffee had opened nearly two months ago.

“We were lucky, this could have been a lot worse,” said Polidori.