Saturday morning the water at Centennial Park’s quarry lake was eerily quiet, the boats that would normally be out here were docked. Just hours before, a tragic accident that took the lives of two young men just beginning their journey into adulthood.
The accident happened around 2 a.m. Saturday, when police and fire officials say a 2007 Chevy Impala left the roadway at the corner of Aurora Avenue and Eagle Street. Police say the car plowed through a chain link fence and several trees before plunging into the quarry.
“It’s a dark scene working at night,” Naperville Fire Department deputy chief Rick Sander said. “It makes it more difficult to dive at night, and you’re probably 40 to 50 feet down.”
The driver, Michael Szot, 21, of Geneva, was able to escape from the car and swim to safety.
The two passengers couldn’t make it out and were found by fire and police divers. They were taken to the hospital where they were pronounced dead. The victims have been identified as Sajaad Syed, 21, of Naperville, and Mihirtej Boddupalli, 21, of Lisle.
Boddupalli’s parents said their son was a rising senior at Northwestern University interested in engineering and mathematics. Prior to college, Boddupalli graduated from Naperville North High School where he was on the cross country and track and field teams. They say he also loved to play basketball.
Szot has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence causing the death of another and reckless homicide. Police are still asking for any witnesses that may have seen the crash to contact them.