Lockport teen charged with reckless homicide in death of Jay Vana
BY JANET LUNDQUIST email@example.com December 17, 2012 1:40PM
Supplied photo of Jay Vana, who died in a single-vehicle crash Tuesday in Homer Township. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 17, 2012 11:20PM
Authorities have filed criminal charges against the teenage driver who rolled a pickup truck in a September crash that killed his 16-year-old passenger.
Daniel Janik, 17, Lockport, was 16 at the time of the Sept. 25 crash that killed Lockport East High School student Jay Vana.
Janik has been charged as a juvenile with reckless homicide, aggravated reckless driving and reckless driving, the Will County State’s Attorney’s office confirmed Monday.
Vana, of Homer Glen, had gone to McDonald’s with Janik the night of Sept. 25 and was riding home when the accident happened less than a mile from his home.
Will County sheriff’s police were called at 8:38 p.m. that night to Lauffer and Haas roads in Homer Glen. Police said Vana was found partially underneath a pickup that had left the road, hit a tree and rolled over. Vana, who had been a passenger, was thrown from the vehicle.
Janik reportedly told police a deer came out of the field and he lost control when he swerved to avoid it.
Vana was taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox where he was pronounced dead.
Janik and his father, Stanislaw Janik, were named as defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit filed Friday by Vana’s family.
The lawsuit alleges Janik was careless and negligent in his driving the night of the crash.
It also alleges Stanislaw Janik should have prevented his son from driving that night, because he should have known Daniel Janik had a history of unsafe driving and was likely to drive in a way that would put others at risk.
The lawsuit did not include evidence of past unsafe driving by Janik.
Janik is scheduled to appear in juvenile court on the criminal charges Thursday at the River Valley Justice Center.