UPDATED: Naperville Resident Killed Following Motor Vehicle Accident

Lisle man charged with driving under the influence of alcohol following Sunday night incident involving pedestrian.

A Naperville woman died Sunday night following a motor vehicle accident at Yackley Avenue and Ohio Street at approximately 10:13 p.m., according to a release issued by the Lisle Police Department.

Driver James D. Kisla, 51, of the 0-900 block of Hitchcock Avenue, was arrested and booked following the accident. He is charged with one felony count of aggravated driving under the influence and one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.

The report indicates that Donna J. Early, of Naperville, was walking when she was involved in the accident. Responders transported her to Good Samaritan Hospital. Hospital officials alerted police that Early died at approximately 3:05 a.m. due to subsequent injuries.

According to the release, an accident reconstruction was completed at the scene and police will conduct further investigation into the incident.

Kisla was tranported to the DuPage County Jail after booking.


According to the Daily Herald, Kisla posted a $30,000 bond on Tuesday.

Maria July 05, 2011 at 12:37 AM
Did this happen right after the fireworks? Weren't the police already on the scene because they were directing traffic (both pedestrian and vehicular) at this location?The intercection of Ohio/Yackley was the only way to get into the park this year to watch the fireworks unless you entered on the footbridge from Rt53.
Paul July 05, 2011 at 06:09 AM
The accident was south of Ohio. Festival parking was at Benet Academy. If you didn't cross Yackley at Ohio, there is no other crossing until Maple, which is past Benet Academy. Instead of waiting at the stoplight at Yackley and Ohio to cross, people walked south on Yackley and crossed at their own risk where there was no crosswalk. Even after the accident, people were still running across Yackley, risking their lives. It's a four lane road with a 40mph speed limit but cars were probably driving 45-50 at that time of night. Near the accident, it is slightly hilly with a bend in the road which may have contributed to the accident.
Jon Cunningham July 05, 2011 at 12:10 PM
Very sad. Hopefully this will bring to attention the lack of safe crossings in the long gaps between stoplights on Yackley, Ogden, and Maple. Mid-block center safety islands would help in quite a few places. Also, I doubt if Mr. Kisla was the only one to leave Eyes to the Skies "driving (or walking) under the influence."
Maria July 05, 2011 at 01:11 PM
There was also parking at Walker Athletics (formerly Tellabs) on Burlington Ave. (West of Yackley, South of Ohio St.) The only temporary lighting I saw was set up at the corner of Burlington and Yackley.
amanda July 05, 2011 at 02:38 PM
This isn't the first time something like this has happened and definitely not the last. I think the village needs to institute a new plan for the festival. Especially when people will be crossing 4 lane highways. However, even if they do I doubt it will stop people from crossing whenever/wherever they want. Drivers need to be vigilant around holidays! My prayers go out to both Earlys family and the family of the idiot that got behind the wheel drunk.
Karlie Baker (Editor) July 05, 2011 at 08:19 PM
I made a similar dash across Maple--also a four lane road--to and from the festival, because I live too close to not walk. I think no matter the set-up, pedestrians and drivers alike can act a little hasty in these high-traffic situations. It's very unfortunate. Early's husband shares his reaction to the Daily Herald: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110704/news/707049866/
Timothy Curley July 06, 2011 at 12:19 AM
Why don't the police do more traffic control, especially at this type of busy event? Not singling out Lisle PD., but it seems officers everywhere think they are above or overqualified for this life-saving task.
Justin Johnson July 06, 2011 at 09:04 AM
I crossed this intersection about 10 minutes before the accident. We were heading east from Ribfest to catch the fireworks in Lisle. So sad. I watched Monday's Fworks with my young boys at the parking lot at 71st and Woodward in Woodridge and it was the Indy 500 when it ended. Cars cutting illegally thru the lot just to get ahead of one another, with kids all around walking and playing. So damn dangerous-if I had a bat I would have used it. With my mouth I told several cars to F'in slow down! What is wrong with our society? Have to be home by 1030 for work so lets race thru parking lots and who cares about kids??
Rita Pereira July 06, 2011 at 12:47 PM
A new plan definitely needs to be implemented. Unbeknownst to me, I believe I was there when this happened. Had I turned my head around in the car as we were passing by, I probably would have seen it happen. As it was, we were too busy watching for pedestrians coming in and out of traffic, the massive amounts of cars, and quite frankly the only police presence I saw between Reidy's, west on Maple to Yackley, north to Ogden, was one squad car that was controlling the crowd at Yackley and Burlington, that sped off to the scene when we were just about to him and the other was a Dupage sheriff that FLEW south on Yackley to the accident over the bridge. Not knowing that's what had happened, my husband and I both commented how dangerously fast the sheriff's car was going in such a congested area. It was definitely a recipe for disaster.
Dick July 06, 2011 at 01:29 PM
1. Eliminate all alcohol sales at the festival and prohibit alcohol in the park. 2. Block off Yackely between Burlington and Maple, except for local traffic and shuttle buses to the festival parking lots at BenectineU and Walker Athletics. 3. Set up a remote parking lot (village hall?) and shuttle service that boards on the east side of the park to ease congestion on the west side.
Rita Pereira July 06, 2011 at 03:59 PM
They couldn't do that Dick, it's their biggest revenue. Possibly limiting how much a person is served, by some kind of scannable wrist band, or a cut off time might work. Blocking off the road would only put drunk drivers, driving further to get to their destinations. As far as the remote parking, part of the problem was the bridge being out on Short St. There's usually buses transporting people from the train station. That was probably part of the big problem too, everyone had to go out at one spot for the buses and the wait was so long, people walked back to Benet to get their cars. They definitely need more of the giant lights like they put at Yackley and Burlington along Yackley. It is one dark, windy road at night...in a normal situation.
Autumn Geist July 06, 2011 at 05:36 PM
Exactly. When we sell alcohol at the festival, we know many will be driving. That stretch of road is very dark, curvy and there is no reason to cross outside of the crosswalk at Ohio. We will never know if this accident would have occurred without the alcohol factored in. Sadly because it was, the danger of that dark, curvy road or crossing without a light will not be of consequence. This is a sad, sad story for both families. An accident that has caused much loss for both families. My thoughts and prayers go to all.
kurt July 06, 2011 at 06:34 PM
I was at the scene at the time of the accident. Although I do not know how much alcohol played into the whole thing, it was very disappointing to see the lack of police, flares, and signs along the strip from Ohio to Yackley. There was one police office at Ohio and Yackley and that was it. It was very dark out that night with no street lights, and as I was walking along Yackley, it felt very dangerous. My heart goes out to those involved.
kurt July 06, 2011 at 06:35 PM
I was at the scene at the time of the accident and yes, it was immediately following the fireworks. Although I do not know how much alcohol played into the whole thing, it was very disappointing to see the lack of police, flares, and signs along the strip from Ohio to Yackley. There was one police office at Ohio and Yackley and that was it. It was very dark out that night with no street lights, and as I was walking along Yackley, it felt very dangerous. My heart goes out to those involved.
Tisha July 07, 2011 at 12:55 AM
I was just ahead. Heard a car slam on brakes and heard the noise of her being hit. I think it is sad. One thing though no one has mentioned is that she was J walking. She used poor judgement and crossed at the bottom of a very busy road. It is unfortunate that the driver was drinking and obviously should not have driven under the I influence but it was her fault for crossing in the dark where cars are going 50 miles per hour without being at a crosswalk. I hope that is considered during investigation. My prayers go out to both families.
Dick July 07, 2011 at 02:03 AM
They don't have more police because the "Eyes to the Skies" committee has to pay for special event police/traffic control services and that would tap into the revenue for this not-for-profit organization hosting a not-for-profit event.
lynn July 07, 2011 at 04:44 PM
It is never the fault of the pedestrian walking Tisha. The person who had the bad judgement to get behind the wheel is totally at fault. It is shameful to say that about a woman who was walking, NOT drinking, and while her family is grieving this tragic loss. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Paul July 07, 2011 at 05:56 PM
In the Daily Herald article, the husband said the car came out of nowhere. Cars do not come out of nowhere unless the driver did not have his headlights on. The pedestrians crossed when they felt it was safe and likely did not see the car approaching because the environment (curve, hill). The same environment likely restricted visibility for the driver of the vehicle. I'm sure he probably said in his statement to the police that the pedestrian came out of nowhere. Although the rule of innocent until proven guilty has been eroded, it is still the rule. This is really a tragedy for both the families of the driver and pedestrian. The accident investigation experts will determine whether the driver could have stopped even if the driver had not been drinking. Also, "pedestrian walking" is repetitive because by definition a pedestrian is someone that is walking.
Tommy O July 07, 2011 at 06:18 PM
Lynn: You are entitled to your opinion but if you express facts, they need to be correct. "It is never the fault of the pedestrian walking..." is simply NOT true. Likewise, your next line, " ...is totally at fault..." is also NOT true. Our laws include something called "contributory neglience" where "fault" can be divided between the parties involved. Please cite your source for information regarding the pedestrian NOT drinking, because it was not stated in this article.
Maria July 08, 2011 at 02:38 AM
How many police officers were cut as part of the staff reduction a few months ago? Could this have been prevented with more police to control crowds and traffic? Why cut police and sacrifice pubic safety while preserving less important postitions? Where was the disclosure and transparency on number of police jobs cut by the Village Board? http://lisle.patch.com/articles/village-staff-to-start-fiscal-year-with-eleven-fewer-employees
Karlie Baker (Editor) July 08, 2011 at 01:13 PM
Maria, that plan, as it mentions in the article, cut one patrol officer and two sergeants. I don't know that it would be fair to correlate the loss of one patrolman with the lack of crowd control at this event. There were something like 20,000 people present for fireworks Sunday night. Even if the whole department had been there, that would be a large task. I'm not trying to make excuses for anyone, but this was the only usable road to get out of the festival. With that much density there needs to be a sense of responsibility on the part of all drivers and pedestrians, and even then, unfortunate things happen.
Naperville Mom July 10, 2011 at 01:06 PM
It was an awful accident with several factors contributing to the outcome. Yes, there was a drunk driver who shouldn't have been behind the wheel. Yes, it was dark and the hill reduced visibility in advance. And yes, the victim should have made the choice to cross in the designated crosswalk instead of crossing illegally. It is impossible for police - no matter how many at the event - to make sure each and every adult acts in a responsible manner and assumes some responsibility for the own actions.
Naperville Mom July 10, 2011 at 01:17 PM
The same situation easily could have occured at Ribfest. Year after year many of the Ribfest patrons obviously have too much to drink ... and present a risk to others as they head home - either walking or driving. Because of the risk, I chose not to allow my older teenagers to drive to and from the festival and made arrangements to pick them up blocks away. Even so, the mob mentality of the pedestrians amazed me. The majority - including adults with children - apparently felt that the roads were expanded sidewalks ... showing no concern for approaching vehicles. What a potential for accidents - even without any alcohol intake on the part of drivers. With a massive number of pedestrians partying in the streets it was difficult for drivers to avoid them ... and of course, if an accident occured, we'd be reading the same comments about more crosswalks, more police, etc. Basically, the need is for more people to ask in responsible and reasonable manner.
Eileen Eubanks July 23, 2011 at 08:43 PM
I agree with the fact that pedestrians must also be diligent in their judgement about "J" walking. Hopefully, a light will be placed at the intersection of Ohio and Yackley so that future walkers are not put in danger as well as car drivers.This is a big event for Lisle and booze is also part of the picture. Do you remember when DWI Driving while intoxicated became DUI Driving under the influence? I have to agree that pedestrians are also responsible for their judgment calls in keeping safe. How did a car come out of nowhere? Eileen Eubanks
Rita Pereira July 23, 2011 at 09:39 PM
There already is a traffic light that (I'm sorry) wasn't utilized at the corner of Yackley and Ohio.
Lisle Guy 2.0 October 08, 2011 at 09:14 PM
Lots of talk about what the police should have done, not enough police, police are "above" directing traffic, etc. I saw the accident scene and the couple avoided the police officers who were doing traffic control. They crossed mid block, in a dark area and with no traffic control. People immediately try to assign blame to someone or something without nothing the facts. The man was drunk but the woman crossed in a terrible spot which contributed to her own death. Tragic, yes but preventable. After watching 20 yrs of fests, people don't want to wait for the crowd to cross and are always in a rush, thus taking risks. The police and the committee are not to blame. Additionally, 2 were killed 4 or 5 yrs ago at 53 and burlington after the fest. Guess what they did too.....crossed mid block in the darkness and ran in front of a vehicle. People need to take responsibility for their actions and others need to get the facts before they start blaming others.


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