INGLESIDE – Two 16-year-old Fox Lake residents escaped without a scratch after their car struck a utility pole, rolled over and caused live power lines to spark a brush fire Friday night in Ingleside, a fire official said.
The Fox Lake Fire Protection District and Lake County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched about 5 p.m. Friday to the 28400 block of West Brandenburg Road in Ingleside for a report of a single-vehicle crash.
A preliminary investigation shows that two vehicles left the Volo Bog nature preserve at high speeds, Lake County Sheriff’s Sgt. Christopher Covelli said. A 16-year-old Fox Lake boy was driving a Subaru south on West Brandenburg Road with a 16-year-old Fox Lake girl passenger, and a 16-year-old Lake Villa boy was driving a Chevrolet south on the road as well.
“They appeared to be racing each other,” Covelli said.
The driver of the Subaru lost control of his car while navigating a sharp curve and struck a utility pole, cracking it, Fox Lake Fire Battalion Chief Brent Connelly said. The car rolled over, and power lines fell to the ground. Connelly said the sparking wires then ignited an estimated 1-acre brush fire.
The boy and girl managed to successfully escape the upside-down vehicle before emergency responders arrived, but Connelly said it’s best to wait for professionals to survey the scene before exiting a vehicle when dealing with power lines.
“I would’ve been endangering my men had I had them any closer to those wires,” Connelly said. “So then we had to wait for ComEd to shut off the power.”
Firefighters had the brush fire mostly under control before ComEd reached the scene, he said.
Covelli said the Subaru driver was cited for drag racing and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The driver of the Chevrolet also was cited for drag racing – a Class A misdemeanor.
Paramedics released the Fox Lake teens to their parents at the scene, Connelly said.
“Neither one of them had a scratch on them,” he said.