Crash claims life of NIU freshman

By Stephanie Bradley and Holly Schubert

Saturday night, another NIU student died in an alcohol-related accident, the fourth in one year.

Freshman Robert Ambos, 18, 332 Lincoln Hall, was killed when the Toyota Celica he was a passenger in was struck by an Oldsmobile Delta 88 driven by NIU Senior Curtis Madsen at the intersection of Illinois Routes 38 and 47.

Madsen, 23, 7123 Lincolnshire West, has been charged with three counts of reckless homicide, driving under the influence of alcohol and failing to stop at a flashing red light. Madsen was issued a $250,000 bond, a spokesman for the Kane County Sheriff’s Department said.

Madsen was originally charged with DUI and failing to stop at a flashing red light. However, after being released on his own recognizance early Sunday morning, he was picked up Monday morning at his Glen Ellyn residence and the reckless homocide charges were added.

The accident, which occurred shortly after 11 p.m., claimed the lives of Ambos’ fiance Denise Klaczek, 17, and Terese Neyfeldt, 16, both of Palatine, who were in the vehicle with Ambos.

News reports said the Celica was the Neyfeldt family car, but it is unclear who was driving because all three victims were thrown from the car. The Celica was split in half at the front seat behind the steering wheel.

Visitation services for the three victims will be held from 1p.m. to 9 p.m. today at Ahlgrim and Sons Funeral Home in Palatine.

The second most recent alcohol-related death was NIU student Karri Botz, 17. Botz was killed Sept. 17 after she was struck by a motorcycle and then by a car while crossing Annie Glidden Road north of Crane Drive. Police reports said Botz had been drinking at a party in the Greek Row area prior to the accident.

Last April, NIU student Stenio LaPlanche, 20, died after choking on his vomit. A DeKalb County Coroner’s report disclosed LaPlanche had a .16 percent alcohol level and traces of cocaine in his bloodstream when he died.

Another vehicle accident killed NIU student Christine Billmyer, 21, in October. The vehicle she was a passenger in was struck from behind by Demetrius Glenn, who was 20 at the time. Glenn was charged with reckless homocide, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on revocation, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.