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Downers Grove man charged in accident that killed Hinsdale man

Image courtesy of Oak Brook Police Department
Image courtesy of Oak Brook Police Department

A Downers Grove man has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol following a Sept. 22 crash in which a Hinsdale man was killed.

William J. Decero. 49, was the driver of the vehicle in the one-car crash at 12:04 a.m. at Spring Road and Salt Creek Circle that killed Thomas Fitzsimons, 48, Oak Brook police said.

Decero was injured in the crash and taken to a local hospital, Oak Brook police said. Decero’s bond was set Sept. 24 at $750,000.

Fitzsimons was a partner with Greer Burns & Crain law firm in Chicago, and had been with the firm since 2001. He was married and had two elementary school-age children, a boy and a girl.

DuPage prosecutors said Decero lost control of the vehicle, swerved off the road and crashed into a wooded area. Following a 911 call from a neighbor, Oak Brook police arrived and found both men still in the vehicle, both wearing seatbelts. Fitzsimons was pronounced dead at the scene.

Decero was released from the hospital Monday afternoon and immediately taken into custody. Prosecutors said his blood-alcohol level was above 0.08 percent.

“Once again we see the tragic consequences of an alleged drunk driver,” said State’s Attorney Robert Berlin. “Drunk driving crashes are 100 percent avoidable. The next time you or someone you know is considering getting behind the wheel of their car after they have been drinking, search the Internet for images of the consequences of drunk driving and ask yourself ‘is this how I want to end the evening or possibly my life?’”

Decero’s next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 26, in front of DuPage Judge Daniel Guerin.

Paul Juettner, a partner at Green Burns & Crain, worked with Fitzsimons for 12 years at that firm and 16 years in total.

“He was a great friend and a wonderful partner,” Juettner said. “He was just a super all-around guy; he will be deeply missed by many.”

Juettner said Fitzsimons was married and had two elementary school-age children, a boy and a girl.

Prior to working at Greer Burns & Crain, Fitzsimons was in-house counsel for a communications software company.

He was a 1987 graduate of the University of Illinois in Champaign, and received his law degree in 1994 from Loyola University in Chicago.

Oak Brook police said Spring Road was closed for several hours between York Road and 31st Street.

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