PICTURED: Mother, 31, and her four children killed in wrong-way crash

PICTURED: Mother, 31, and her four children were among seven people killed in horror crash after wrong-way driver, 22, hit their van head-on in Illinois

  • Lauren Dobosz, 31, of Rolling Meadows and five children, ages 5-13, were killed in the fiery crash with another driver smashed into them on the interstate
  • Jennifer Fernandez, 22, of Carpentersville, Illinois, who was driving the wrong way on I-90 in a 2010 Acura TSX for 'unknown reasons' also died in the crash
  • The driver of the van, Thomas Dobosz, 32, of Rolling Meadows, was the sole survivor of the crash. He remains hospitalized with serious injuries
  • Investigators are working to determine why Fernandez was traveling in the wrong direction on the highway

By Andrea Cavallier For Dailymail.Com

Published: 18:33, 1 August 2022 | Updated: 20:41, 1 August 2022

A mother and her four children were among the seven people killed when a wrong-way driver slammed into a van on an Illinois interstate early Sunday morning.

The fiery crash happened around 2:11 a.m. on Interstate 90 in McHenry County, roughly 50 miles from Chicago.

Illinois State Police said Jennifer Fernandez, 22, of Carpentersville, Illinois was driving a 2010 Acura TSX the wrong way on I-90 for 'unknown reasons' when she smashed into the Chevrolet van being driven by Thomas Dobosz, 32, of Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Both vehicles burst into flames on impact. 

Fernandez was found dead on the scene, state troopers said, along with all of the passengers in Dobosz' van, including his wife and four children. 

Lauren Dobosz, 31, of Rolling Meadows and five children, four of which were hers, were killed in the crash, according to Illinois State Police. The children were ages 5 to 13. 

Thomas Dobosz was the sole survivor of the crash and remains hospitalized at Loyola University Medical Center.

Lauren Dobosz, 31, of Rolling Meadows and five children ages 5-13, all in a Chevrolet full-size van, were killed, according to Illinois State Police Lauren Dobosz, 31, of Rolling Meadows and five children ages 5-13, all in a Chevrolet full-size van, were killed, according to Illinois State Police

Lauren Dobosz, 31, of Rolling Meadows and five children ages 5-13, all in a Chevrolet full-size van, were killed, according to Illinois State Police

The five children who were killed in the crash were two 13-year-old girls, a 7-year-old boy, a 6-year-old boy, and a 5-year-old girl, all of Rolling Meadows The five children who were killed in the crash were two 13-year-old girls, a 7-year-old boy, a 6-year-old boy, and a 5-year-old girl, all of Rolling Meadows

The five children who were killed in the crash were two 13-year-old girls, a 7-year-old boy, a 6-year-old boy, and a 5-year-old girl, all of Rolling Meadows

Scene of the crash on I-90 when Jennifer Fernandez, 22, drove the wrong way on the highway for 'unknown reasons' and smashed into the van./ppBoth vehicles burst into flames on impact Scene of the crash on I-90 when Jennifer Fernandez, 22, drove the wrong way on the highway for 'unknown reasons' and smashed into the van. Both vehicles burst into flames on impact

Scene of the crash on I-90 when Jennifer Fernandez, 22, drove the wrong way on the highway for 'unknown reasons' and smashed into the van. Both vehicles burst into flames on impact

Local Illinois man Alan Wiedmeyer told DailyMail.com that he was on his way to a fishing tournament when around 2 a.m., he was nearly hit head-on by a car that had made a sudden U-turn on I-90 in front of him.

'It headed straight for me as I was in the middle lane, and luckily I was able to swerve out of the way before it hit me,' he said, adding that he flashed his lights at them but the car kept going. 'The cars behind me also veered out of the way just in time.' 

Wiedmeyer said he received texts about 10-15 minutes later from fellow tournament goers who alerted him that I-90 was closed after two vehicles had collided and burst into flames. 

'Immediately my mind went to the car going in the wrong direction,' he said. 

But it wasn't until around 11 a.m. later that morning that the car he swerved away from was the one that struck a van, killing five children. 

'My heart just sunk especially finding out that five kids had lost their lives,' Wiedmeyer said.

'I felt guilt too that I could have stopped it and hit the other vehicle before it got to them,' he added. 'I have a two-year-old of my own, and I couldn't imagine losing a child in such a horrific accident.'

The five children who were killed in the crash were two 13-year-old girls, a 7-year-old boy, a 6-year-old boy, and a 5-year-old girl, all of Rolling Meadows.

Their names have not been released.

Lauren Dobosz, 31, of Rolling Meadows and five children, were killed in the crash on Sunday. Her husband Thomas Dobosz, 32, who was driving the van, was seriously injured Lauren Dobosz, 31, of Rolling Meadows and five children, were killed in the crash on Sunday. Her husband Thomas Dobosz, 32, who was driving the van, was seriously injured

Lauren Dobosz, 31, of Rolling Meadows and five children, were killed in the crash on Sunday.

Her husband Thomas Dobosz, 32, who was driving the van, was seriously injured

Five children were killed in the crash Sunday, along with all four of the children of Thomas and Lauren Dobosz. Lauren died at the scene, along with the children. Her husband was injured Five children were killed in the crash Sunday, along with all four of the children of Thomas and Lauren Dobosz./ppLauren died at the scene, along with the children. Her husband was injured

Five children were killed in the crash Sunday, along with all four of the children of Thomas and Lauren Dobosz. Lauren died at the scene, along with the children.

Her husband was injured

Neighbors told ABC7 Chicago that four of them were the couple's kids.

'When you find out it is people you've known for many years, it kind of hits a little harder,' neighbor David Moreno said. 'Losing your family in a split-second like that is not going to be easy for anybody.'

'My understanding is one of the eldest daughters had a friend with them,' Moreno added. 'I know it's going to be devastating for the community just to know that it was somebody that people have known.' 

Lauren Dobosz's co-worker Kenny Felton said she started working at Lulu's Gaming in Rolling Meadows two months ago and described her as creative and always willing to help.

'She loved her kids and her husband,' Felten said. 'That was her life.'

'He's going to have a tough road ahead when he finds out what happened and just wish them all the best, and anything we can do, we'll be here for them,' he added.

Other neighbors along Owl Drive in Rolling Meadows told FOX 32 Chicago that the children would always say hello. 

They said the couple took care of elderly grandparents who had lived in the home on Owl Drive for some time.

Investigators are working to determine why Fernandez was traveling in the wrong direction in the fatal crash that caused another collision. 

A semi-truck rear-ended another semi when it stopped suddenly to let a medical helicopter land, officials said. A trailer on one of the trucks was damaged and boxes were scattered on the highway. One person suffered minor injuries.

Investigators are working to determine why Fernandez was traveling in the wrong direction Investigators are working to determine why Fernandez was traveling in the wrong direction

Investigators are working to determine why Fernandez was traveling in the wrong direction

A charred van is hauled away from the scene of a crash in Illinois./ppA mother and five children were among the seven killed when a wrong-way driver slammed into the van early Sunday A charred van is hauled away from the scene of a crash in Illinois. A mother and five children were among the seven killed when a wrong-way driver slammed into the van early Sunday

A charred van is hauled away from the scene of a crash in Illinois. A mother and five children were among the seven killed when a wrong-way driver slammed into the van early Sunday

The fiery crash happened around 2:11 a.m. on Interstate 90 in McHenry County, Illinois, roughly 50 miles from Chicago./ppSeven people were killed, including five children The fiery crash happened around 2:11 a.m. on Interstate 90 in McHenry County, Illinois, roughly 50 miles from Chicago./ppSeven people were killed, including five children

The fiery crash happened around 2:11 a.m. on Interstate 90 in McHenry County, Illinois, roughly 50 miles from Chicago.

Seven people were killed, including five children 

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