Burr Ridge Teen in Deadly Head-on Palos Wreck Drunk & High: Prosecutor

The 19-year-old college student tested positive for cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, amphetamines and other drugs, a prosecutor said.

A Burr Ridge college student jailed after a deadly head-on crash hobbled into court on crutches and learned he would be going home.

Cook County Judge Carmen Aguilar set bail for 19-year-old Nicholas Puccinelli at $250,000 during a Thursday morning hearing at the Bridgeview Courthouse.

Puccinelli's attorney, Paul Moreschi of Oakbrook Terrace, said the teen's family was going to pay the $25,000 needed to secure his release from the Cook County Jail Thursday.

"I'm confident that my client's family is going to post bond today," Moreschi said.

Puccinelli was arrested at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn following an early Tuesday crash on LaGrange Road near 105th Street in Palos Township. Puccinelli was heading south on LaGrange when he drove his 2002 GMC Denali into the northbound lane and crashed into a 2002 Nissan Sentra, police said. Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Amari Dawson said the impact sent the Sentra through a guard rail.

The driver of the Sentra, John Anagnopoulos, 64, of Orland Park, also was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center. He died there.

During the Thursday hearing, Dawson said that Anagnopoulos was on his way to work when Puccinelli crashed into his car shortly after 3 a.m.

Tests performed on Puccinelli at the hospital showed his blood-alcohol level was at .215 percent, more than two-and-a-half times the legal limit for driving, Dawson said. Puccinelli also tested positive for cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, barbiturates and other drugs, she said.

In a statement to police, Puccinelli acknowledged drinking and ingesting both marijuana and Xanax, Dawson said.

Moreschi told Judge Aguilar that Puccinelli is a full-time student at the College of DuPage and that he also works part-time at his father's caulking and sealant business. He asked for a bond the Puccinellis could make but conceded that "obviously, it's a very serious offense."

Aguilar ordered Puccinelli to wear a bracelet that will monitor the alcohol level in his perspiration after he is released from jail. The judge forbade him from drinking, driving or taking illegal drugs.

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Troof March 18, 2013 at 10:30 PM
LH, I was hoping you could give me a copy since you seem to know about these posts. Or have you not actually seen them and you are just making things up? Upload them to imgur.com and share the link.
LH March 18, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Oh Susan, very tough!!! I am ONLY having a discussion as well. You want to see the FB posts? Who cares!! That's what's important to you? And just to be clear I have a life. Unfortunately, my life was personally impacted by this loser!! You clearly are just looking to have "discussions" so who is the one without a life? You have nothing better to do? Too bad they don't make pills for stupidity; you could use one!!
LH March 18, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Troof I could care less about you or your opinion!! I'm not sending you crap. Who are you? Nobody!! If you see other posts I clearly am not the only one who has seen these posts. If you haven't, not my problem!!
Susan March 18, 2013 at 11:05 PM
LH, Your right, I don't have a life but since YOU are in it now, I feel that I do.Do you want to "talk" about how you are impacted by this LOSER ? Stupidity Pills ? Really LH ??? You have just given me a brand new reason to get up in the morning. I don't think anyone but the lawyers give a F@** about those FB pages. We are just having a DISCUSSION !!!! You sound like a very angry Person but you do make me smile.
LH March 18, 2013 at 11:24 PM
Susan: Glad I can make you smile :) And it's obvious that you give a f*** about the posts cause you posted you wish you could see them!! Duh!! I told you stupidity pills?? Btw, thanks for the laugh, I needed it!!
Susan March 18, 2013 at 11:29 PM
LH I can see that you are not an independent Person. However, you dragged me and two other people into your WEB of STUPIDITY.
LH March 19, 2013 at 12:19 AM
Cheryl: Thank you very much!! You have been very kindhearted about this entire, horrible incident. Yes I knew the John, very well I must say!! Since the day I was born. And i am very angry that his life was taken so horrifically & for no reason. John was an amazing man with a heart of gold; always had a smile on his face. A man that would give you anything just to see you smile!! He did not deserve this. His family is devastated and still in shock. Their lives will never be the same; their hearts are broken. I'm sorry if I have absolutely no sympathy for Nicholas or his family and I hate that I allowed certain individuals posts to bring out negativity in me but in the end it doesn't matter what anyone says or thinks because John is gone and we'll never see him again. I could care less what others think of me or my posts cause they're are not in my shoes nor my families.
Troof March 19, 2013 at 12:20 AM
By the way, LH, if you "could care less about my opinion," that means that you do care about my opinion at least a little bit because there are other things you care less about. You meant to say that you "couldn't care less." Maybe you should look into those stupid pills yourself ;)
Susan March 19, 2013 at 12:36 AM
Troof, Thank You. I love your sense of humor. I guess you CAN find friends and enemies on The Patch. LOL
brb1078 March 19, 2013 at 12:58 AM
LH I am not condoning the irresponsible,irreversible, damning decision that nick made when he got behind the wheel! If you read back I have stated several times that the loss Johns family and friends are dealing with is horrific, unfair and unexplainable...why THIS GOOD MANS LIFE WAS TAKEN....? I AM AND WAS SIMPLY SICK OF PEOPLE ATTACKING HIS PARENTS! PLEASE DON'T STATE WHAT YOU THINK MY OPINION IS OUR WHERE I STAND IN ALL OF THIS. I BELIEVE THAT FOR THE Anagnopoulos family justice will never be served!
LH March 19, 2013 at 01:07 AM
Troof: Maybe you should go find something else to do!! You are ignorant & Susan you're beyond ignorant. Do you two even care about what happened here with this horrific incident? Or do you clearly not have anything better to do? I hope you your sake no one in your family is ever tragically killed!!
Arthur Huff March 19, 2013 at 01:12 AM
Nice! Spot on.
Susan March 19, 2013 at 01:15 AM
LH Also look back at my comments while your checking brb 1078. Do your Homework or STFU. Overall, you are just too involved to even be on The Patch. NAMASTE !!
LH March 19, 2013 at 01:20 AM
brb You're right, justice can never really be served because an innocent man is dead for no reason & nothing will bring him back. This was my family member and the grieving process comes in many forms. We are all still in shock and for some the anger is setting in. I can't no matter how much I try or might want to feel any compassion for Nick's parents let alone Nick himself!! I can't help but think of them knowing about their sons issues & not doing anything about it! He lives in their house & with the amount of alcohol & drugs in his system could this possibly have been avoided? I know they are saddened by what their son did. What parent wouldn't be but they're not my concern, John Anagnopoulos and his devastated family are!
LH March 19, 2013 at 01:27 AM
Susan: What a class act!! How about since you have no involvemt in this you should get off Patch cause clearly you have no morals!! Telling someone to STFU; that's really nice. Must be the lady in you or lack thereof!!!
Troof March 19, 2013 at 01:31 AM
LH, surely you realize that teens are good at hiding drug use from their parents.
LH March 19, 2013 at 02:05 AM
Thanks Cheryl. I feel like someone has to defend John & yeah all the ignorant posts towards me & the insults, whatever. I just hope that justice is served based on his crime.
CM March 19, 2013 at 05:06 AM
@CK... did you guys take screen shots of the myspace page of Nick?? It shows a much younger Nick getting high, drinking, kissing a can of beer, and doing a beer bong
CM March 19, 2013 at 05:13 AM
This North Chicago Police Officer was in the same situation and his bond was double... http://chicagodefender.com/index.php/news/city/16769-north-chicago-police-officer-charged-in-fatal-collision A judge set bail at $500,000 on Sunday for a suburban Chicago police officer accused of causing a traffic accident that killed two people in a wrong-way collision on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive. During the hearing, prosecutors said Terrell Garrett's blood alcohol content after Friday's wreck was measured at 0.184, which is more than twice the legal limit of 0.08. The North Chicago police officer is charged with two counts each of reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol.
CM March 19, 2013 at 05:20 AM
Thoughts and prayers to the Anagnopoulos family.... it was evident seeing the huge turn out at the wake how loved and adored he was. Justice needs to be served. This man needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Hopefully the family members are able to attend court hearings and make their victim impact statements to the judge. I'm glad CK was able to get those screenshots before they closed his facebook account.
paul March 19, 2013 at 06:50 AM
People bring up his family money because they are tired of the rich getting away with murder. Remember Nicolas Sord? Another local young punk looser who got wasted and killed a good person. 2 years and still no justice. Daddy owns restaurants. http://orlandpark.patch.com/articles/man-accused-in-reckless-homicide-pass-on-plea-deal Any jerk who attacks the victim or his family most definitely will answer to a Higher Authority. Call it Karma or whatever you want, but the universe is listening.
LH March 19, 2013 at 12:43 PM
Thank you Paul!!
Troof March 19, 2013 at 05:43 PM
It's not murder, it's aggravated DUI. Murder requires intent; it can't be an accident.
Emsole March 19, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Locking this kid up is just throwing away another young life and is counterproductive. Prison is not the answer to everything. The goal should be to reduce future crime, right? So the court should order this kid to go to AA, make him wear an alcohol monitor, and maybe order him to perform community service by telling other kids about the dangers of driving drunk. I admit it wouldn't be as satisfying to the family of the victim, but it would be the best approach to curb recidivism.
LH March 19, 2013 at 10:02 PM
I believe that could be the opton for same cases but, not when someone is killed. A very innocent man lost his life horrifically and attending AA meetings and talking to today's youth shouldn't be enough. Not only was he completely drunk but he had many different drugs in his system. This is why we have laws and penalties for breaking those laws. I agree we need to try and curb recidivism but in some cases there has to be justice served for the victim and their family! This is an extreme drunk driving case as he wasn't just drunk but high on drugs and driving the wrong way!
Arthur Huff March 20, 2013 at 01:01 AM
Desirae, I will agree with some of your points. For example, good parenting typically leads to a good child, but certainly not in every case. However, can I ask what evidence you have to support your claim that this guy's parents taught him that money will get him out of anything?
paul March 20, 2013 at 02:02 AM
'getting away with murder', is a common figurative phrase. Which brings us to your point- was this REALLY an accident? Or was this kid an accident just waiting to happen? Russian Roulette? Did you see the laundry list of crap that was in his system? Was he a Rock Star or something? Lindsey Lohan - grade partying. Can you really argue his intent to drive safely after ingesting that much poison ? Poll Time: How many of the readers here have ever taken all-that stuff- at once? Then drove ???? C'mon- show of hands here. Blow-Booze-Coke-Weed- Upper-Downer- Sideways Kid wasn't legally old enough for even one beer for a few years. I think he crossed a line.
Troof March 20, 2013 at 03:15 AM
Yes, I can really believe that he didn't intend to kill anyone. Obviously he made a stupid decision and should have known better, but that doesn't mean he actually wanted to cause harm to anyone. To answer your poll, I've taken all of the mentioned drugs except for barbiturates. Didn't drive though.
Troof March 20, 2013 at 03:15 AM
How does putting him in jail bring justice to the family? John's not coming back either way. An eye for an eye makes everyone blind...
Susan March 20, 2013 at 11:58 AM
Troof, I can see clearly now.


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