A report released this week about last week’s arrest of a Geneva man sheds new light on the drunken-driving arrest, which began with officers arriving at a crash scene to find a mangled Audi whose driver had fled on foot from the car, which was a bloody mess inside.
St. Charles Patch reported Tuesday that Corey Robert Murtaugh, 25, of the 500 block of Woodward Avenue, Geneva, was charged at 3:57 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, with driving under the influence of alcohol, improper lane use, no use of driver or passenger seat belts, possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis, and possession of drug paraphernalia. At that time, police had released only an arrest summary listing the charges.
But the subsequent incident report released since then shows the arrest was preceded by a crash in which the blue Audi struck a light standard, severely damaging the car, whose front right tire was found lying in the middle of the 100 block of Prairie Street.
Police responded to South 2nd and Prairie streets initially on a report of a car fire, but found instead a single-car crash in which the vehicle’s front airbags deployed, creating the smoke witnesses had reported. Inside the vehicle was “a considerable amount of blood.”
According to the report, witnesses told the officer the driver had run northbound, through some backyards along the 400 block of South 2nd Street.
The officer found blood on both front-seat airbags and throughout the vehicle, the report states. There also was an impact mark on the windshield’s passenger side that police said was consistent with a person striking the windshield during a crash.
Other officers who arrived began searching yards in the area after one officer said he heard yelling. One officer found Murtaugh in some bushes in the rear of a home on the 400 block of 2nd Street. the report stated he was covered in blood and appeared to have suffered some serious injuries to his face. Medics were called.
Police said Murtaugh was uncooperative and told police he “just wanted to go home.”
The officer investigating the crash reported that the vehicle was southbound and appeared to have swiped a telephone pole before striking and “rubbing along” a retaining wall at 423 S. 2nd St., before veering back to the left. The vehicle then traveled “down the parkway, bottomed out on the roadway” and continued until it crashed into the light pole.
Witnesses told police Murtaugh was alone in the vehicle but initially was trapped inside, calling for help to get out. Inside the vehicle, police said they found cannabis and a “one-hitter” device used to smoke it. They also found idications that the seat belts had not been in use during the crash.
Still concerned there might be a wounded passenger in the area, police questioned Murtaugh as he was being loaded onto a stretcher by paramedics. Murtaugh also told police he was the only individual in the car during the crash. Murtaugh then was taken to Delnor Hospital in Geneva.
Police also learned at the hospital that, despite all the blood, Murtaugh had no serious head injury but did have many small lacerations and abrasions on his face.
Officers said Murtaugh told them several times he felt lucky to be alive after the crash.
Murtaugh posted his driver’s license and $300 cash bond and was released pending a Sept. 19, 2013 court appearance.