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Marijuana + cell phone + speed + inexperience =

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Marijuana + cell phone + speed + inexperience =

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
July 18, 2012

A more complete picture of the July 1 tragedy that cut short two lives in McHenry County emerged from the reports on file at the office of the McHenry County Coroner.

At about 2:00AM a car driven by Alec Kaiser, 16, was apparently speeding westbound on Davis Road from Dean Street, when it left the roadway after topping one of the rolling hills in the roadway and in front of 14217 Davis Road. Alec had just turned 16 about a month before, on May 29. The car belonged to the family of Jacob Norys, 16, who was riding in the right-front seat. The crash report filed by the Sheriff's Dept. erroneously reported that the car was owned by Alec Kaiser. The local newspaper never mentioned who owned the car.

The reports of the McHenry County Sheriff's deputies don't mention where the boys were before the crash, but there was very heavy cell phone usage on Alec's cell phone late Saturday night, June 30, and into the morning of July 1. A text message to Alec's phone at 12:36AM from Jacob read, "Can you?" That was followed by three incoming calls at 12:41AM, 12:49AM and 12:53AM.

On Alec's phone there were 22 outgoing calls from 1:11AM to 1:42AM. Alec's phone was in use at 1:58AM to "Potatoe", as listed in his cell phone directory. Presumably, the sheriff's accident investigators will ask "Potatoe" if he (she?) was talking with Alec at the time of the crash. Investigators ought to be able to determine whether Alec, the driver, had made all those calls or if any of the calls were made by Jacob, while Alec attended to the driving.

No evidence of alcohol was found in either body; however, cannabinoids (marijuana) were found in both.

Will Sheriff's investigators be tracking down the source of the marijuana?

Three Woodstock High School identification cards were found in Norys' wallet; two bore the name of Jacob's brother, Luke, and one bore the name Yoshua Solomon.

Jacob had been ticketed by Woodstock Police on April 3 for improper lane usage and a Graduated Driver's License violation that appears from Court records to involve a passenger under age 20 (not related). On May 18 he was assessed $321.00 in fines and court costs, sentenced to a 4-hour traffic safety school and placed on 120 days supervision. The GDL violation was nolle prossed.

I would like to explain my reason for this article. I know it is a terribly painful time for the families, and it is not my intention to create further distress for them.

From the facts presented here from the Coroner's reports and court records, parents, as well as young adults, can figure out the combination of factors that resulted in two unnecessary deaths on July 1.

Parents, school personnel, church personnel, counselors, young adults and students themselves must band together and create the alliances that will raise awareness levels and lead to better decisions.

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