ROLLING MEADOWS, ILLINOIS: A Rolling Meadows father hospitalized after a wrong-way I-90 crash that killed seven people, including his wife and four children in Hampshire, has died as a result of injuries on Wednesday, August 3. Thomas Dobosz, 32, was being treated for serious injuries at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood after being flown there by helicopter early Sunday. He was pronounced dead at 11.17 am on Wednesday at the hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy has not been performed yet.
Dobosz was driving on I-90 near Hampshire, Illinois when his blue Chevy van collided with a gray Acura driven by 22-year-old Jennifer Fernandez, cops said, according to The Sun. Fernandez was driving in the opposite direction of traffic and crashed into Dobosz head-on, which caused both cars to be engulfed in flames. The driver of the gray Acura car lost his life immediately at the scene along with Dobosz’s passengers in his van which include his wife, Lauren, 31, and five children, two 13-year-old girls, two boys, seven and six years old respectively, and a five-year-old girl. Four out of those five children belonged to the couple and the names of their children were Emma, Lucas, Nicky, and Ella. A friend of the couple’s eldest daughter, 13-year-old Katriona Koziara, was also killed in the devastating smash, a family friend told local outlets.
Illinois State Police and the organizer of a GoFundMe page for the family also confirmed Dobosz’s death on Wednesday. “We come with a heavy heart today with an update on Tom. Tom has gained his angel wings and is now with his amazing wife Lauren and precious children. We ask that you keep his family in your prayers. All proceeds are going to the family,” wrote Lisa Torres of the Oriole Park Falcons, a youth travel football and cheer program that the family was involved in on the Chicago’s Northwest Side, according to Metro.UK.
Sam Filpi, the coach for the Oriole Park Falcons, also confirmed Dobosz’s death. The Falcons are a travel youth football and cheer team that the Dobosz family were members of. The team returned to the field for the first time on Wednesday with Filpi citing his faith as the reason for keeping him going during this difficult time. Filpi told ABC7, “The belief in God. That there is a reason for this. That we all are in this together.” Filpi said that the Dobosz family was always ready to help volunteer, coach, play, or fundraise for the team. “I just basically dropped my phone and I just couldn’t believe it,” he said. “We didn’t know what to do. We didn’t know. You don’t know what to do in that situation.”
Even after moving miles away, Filpi said the family never missed a practice. He coached two of the couple’s children, calling Lauren the team mom. “They were always there. And her as a team mom, they were always there. That’s commitment and love of a program, a love of the people in the program. That’s how we felt about them,” he said. On Wednesday evening, friends of Thomas Dobosz gathered for an impromptu memorial during football practice at Chicago’s Oriole Park. It was the same location where a balloon-release memorial was held Monday for the rest of the Dobosz family and Kat Koziara.
Kasia Koziara, the mother of Katriona, told the Daily Herald that she is making funeral arrangements and hopes to have a memorial ceremony at a Rolling Meadows park soon. Affectionately known by family and friends as Kat, the teen was a student teacher who led classes and mentored students at the Prospect Heights-based Breaking Program, a breakdance group that offers dance classes and workshops. “It’s very appreciated to support us as Katriona has been and always will be loved and remembered by many,” her mom said. “She deserves the best farewell I can do to celebrate her life and heavenly future.”