Two months after a fatal single-vehicle crash near Woodstock, toxicology reports show that each of the three men who died had cocaine, marijuana and alcohol in their systems.
Ryan K. Fleming, 20; Daisen Hollands, 21; and Quinlan M. Hartney, 20, all of Woodstock, were on their way to drop off another passenger at his Lily Pond Road home when the crash occurred Dec. 16, said Hollands' mother, Cheri Irvine.
The other passenger, a 20-year-old Woodstock man, was taken to Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital before being transferred to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge with serious, life-threatening injuries.
He ultimately survived the crash, McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy Sandra Rogers confirmed, but the man's family has declined to comment on his condition.
Authorities were called about 3:30 a.m. Dec. 16 to the 3100 block of Lily Pond Road in an unincorporated area near Woodstock.
A preliminary investigation showed that Fleming was driving a 1994 Jeep Cherokee north on Lily Pond Road when the car went off the road north of railroad tracks to the west and struck a tree, according to a McHenry County Sheriff's Office crash report.
The area characteristically is winding with steep hills. On the morning of the crash, the roads were slick and visibility was affected by fog, police reported at the time.
A witness also reported that the Jeep was traveling faster than the posted 45 mph speed limit, according to the sheriff’s office.
Toxicology reports show that Fleming's blood-alcohol content was 0.25 at the time. His family has declined to comment, and police still are investigating whether drugs and alcohol contributed to the crash, Rogers said.
In the weeks that followed, the men’s friends crowded around the tree that Fleming's Jeep had struck. They left behind cards and photographs memorializing Hartney, Hollands and Fleming, who were lifelong friends, Irvine said. Although Fleming was driving the vehicle, Irvine said, she feels no animosity toward him or his family.
“I wish nobody ever has to deal with what we’re dealing with, me and the other moms,” Irvine said. “I pray nobody ever has to feel the pain we feel.”
Immediately upon entering Irvine's Woodstock home, visitors are met by an end table crowded with framed photos of Hollands, his family and friends.
"Daisen was my best friend," Irvine said. "It’s hard. It’s hard. I hear him laughing in the house. I hear him and Quin yelling at each other. I feel him in the house, too."
Hollands and Hartney also tested positive for alcohol, cocaine and marijuana, toxicology reports show.
Irvine said the situation should serve as a lesson for others.
Her son's friends still visit Irvine, who had Hollands when she was 16 and has the words "mama bear" tattooed on her chin.
"Every day it’s just an adjustment," Irvine said. "It’s a very big adjustment, and it’s something I’m still not used to yet."
The wreck that claimed Hollands', Fleming's and Hartney's lives was one of 23 fatal crashes in McHenry County in 2018, according to data compiled by the Illinois Department of Transportation. That's 10 fewer crashes compared with 2017, according IDOT.
The sheriff’s office responded to five crashes in the area of Lily Pond Road and Route 14 in Woodstock between Jan. 1, 2018, and Jan. 1 2019, crash reports show. Snow and ice contributed to three of those crashes, and drugs or alcohol were suspected to be involved in two, crash reports show.
The Woodstock Police Department similarly responded to three crashes in 2018 in the same area, crash data show. None of the crashes resulted in driving under the influence arrests, Woodstock Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Parsons said.
Dark country roads such as Lily Pond Road can be hard to navigate, particularly in winter weather, Parsons said, adding that drivers should take their time to avoid potential hazards.
"Especially at nighttime, those curves come up on you very quickly," he said.
Lily Pond Road was the site of a crash that killed 19-year-old Amanda L. Williams of Woodstock in 2015.
For Irvine, the aftermath of the crash still isn’t real. The mother messaged Hollands to make sure he was OK just moments before the car left the roadway, she said.
“I’m good,” Hollands responded at 3:18 a.m.
“Where are you?” was Irvine’s last text to her son.
“I remember the morning [the police] came here, I came running down the stairs and I wanted to know what my son did,” Irvine said. “I said, ‘What did he do? What did he do? Where is he?’ And then they put their heads down, and I knew, and I had a nervous breakdown. And once I sat down, once they told me about Quin and Ryan – I just lost it.”
Hartney’s family could not be reached for comment.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the general location where several crashes occurred in the past year near Lily Pond Road.