WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — A man who fled to Poland in 1995 after being accused of a fatal drunken driving crash in Illinois has been convicted of reckless homicide.
Marek Josko, 67, was sent back to the U.S. in 2020. He was convicted last week in Lake County after a four-day trial.
Several witnesses saw Josko driving the wrong way in the northbound lanes of Route 41, just north of Deerpath Road in Lake Forest on December 9, 1995. His vehicle crashed into a vehicle that caused a second collision involving Waukegan resident Dennis Bourassa. Bourassa sustained serious head injuries and later died.
Josko's blood alcohol concentration level was nearly double the legal limit, which was 0.10 in Waukegan at the time of the incident.
He was charged with a DUI and released on bail while police investigated. A Lake County judge judge issued an arrest warrant for Josko on a reckless homicide charge on December 18, 1995, and Josko boarded a plane from Chicago to Warsaw the next day, to avoid prosecution.
After police were unable to locate Josko in Poland, the case went cold until 2013. International authorities were finally able to find him in Przemysl, a city in far southeastern Poland.
Josko was arrested in Poland in 2018, but the extradition process lasted more than two years and was further complicated by COVID-19.
He faces three to 14 years in prison in Illinois.