Police look for alcohol link in death

By Dave Gomez

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s office is investigating whether an open container found at the scene of the accident that killed a 21-year-old Geneva man came from his vehicle.

Police said Matthew J. Kenney was driving late Saturday night on Illinois Route 23 south of Preserve Road when his 2000 Ford Explorer struck a tree.

Kenney was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. He was later pronounced dead at Kishwaukee Community Hospital.

“Officers at the scene had reason to believe Mr. Kenney had been drinking,” said Chief Deputy Kevin Hickey of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s office.

While there was an open container located at the scene, investigators are still waiting to verify if it came from Kenney’s vehicle, Hickey said. He said it would be difficult to determine whether Kenney had just fallen asleep.

Toxicology reports will take between four and six weeks to determine if Kenney was intoxicated at the time of his death, Hickey said.

Hickey said Kenney had maneuvered through the “S” curves on Route 23 without trouble, then drifted across the opposite lane for an unknown reason.

Officers investigating the incident didn’t detect any evidence of evasive action prior to impact, Hickey said.

“We know he was out at the NIU Homecoming football game,” Hickey said. “Otherwise, we do not know where he was en route to.”

Hickey expressed sorrow over Kenney’s death, saying he deals often with deaths of young drivers.

“Our heart goes out to the gentleman’s family,” Hickey said. “This is every parent’s worst nightmare. We handle a lot of these, unfortunately. It’s not the way life is supposed to work.”