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Pedestrian struck, killed near DeKalb

Vehicle’s driver charged with driving on a suspended license

German Gonzales, 41, of DeKalb, was charged with driving with a suspended license.
German Gonzales, 41, of DeKalb, was charged with driving with a suspended license.

DeKALB – The Maple Park man who was was struck and killed by a vehicle while walking near the intersection of Route 38 and Webster Road near DeKalb will help provide eyesight for two people.

Clarence “Tres” R. Janecek III, 45, of 45W535 Welter Road, was walking near the intersection in a rural area east of DeKalb around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday when he was hit by a vehicle traveling east on Route 38, according to a news release from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. 

Janecek was a registered organ donor in Illinois, his sister-in-law Ann Janecek said. Gift of Hope contacted the family Tuesday morning and told them his donation would provide eyesight to two people who need it.

“Tres was a big-hearted person,” said Lori Turek, a family friend. “If anybody needed anything whatsoever, Tres was the type of man who would take his shirt off his back to help.”

Sheriff’s deputies received a call from a passer-by about a person walking in the roadway on Route 38 near Webster Road, and were en route when they received a second call about the accident, Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Gary Dumdie said. Deputies arrived to find Janecek lying unconscious in the westbound lane on Route 38, and a vehicle off the roadway to the north. 

The driver of the vehicle, German Gonzalez, 41, of DeKalb, told police he didn’t see Janecek before he hit him, Dumdie said. The driver stayed at the scene and called police.

Janecek and Gonzalez were both taken to Kishwaukee Hospital by DeKalb firefighters. 

Janecek was pronounced dead at the hospital, DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller said. Gonzalez was treated and released, and later charged with driving with a suspended license. 

Dumdie said aside from driving with a suspended license, Gonzalez appeared to be obeying the law.

“As far as the driver is concerned at this point, I don’t think there will be any more charges,” Dumdie said. “We are working with family and friends to figure out why [Janecek] was out there, where he was coming from and where he was going.”

A preliminary autopsy performed Tuesday on Janecek showed that he died from head and neck injuries, DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller said. Results of toxicology tests are pending.

Ann Janecek said her brother-in-law was a well-liked, happy father of two children, a 20-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter.

Ann Janecek said she hoped others would be inspired to register as donors after learning about who Clarence Janecek was.

She said the loss was hard on the entire family.

“His two kids are going to be very sad,” she said. “I hope they know their dad had that given ability for someone else to see. It’ll be priceless for them later in life.

“Being a donor, you can make a difference, even if you’re not here anymore.”

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