Man Charged in Fatal Crash in Downers Grove

By Ann Nguyen, The Chicago Times

April 12, 2023

DOWNERS GROVE, IL – A Downers Grove man has been charged in a fatal crash that killed a man from Darien, Illinois.

Prosecutors said, on April 3, 2023, at approximately 5:49 pm, Jacob Liapis, 21, of the 2200 block of Prentiss Drive, crashed his vehicle in the 5400 block of Fairmont Avenue causing the death of a male passenger that was traveling in the vehicle.  Responding officers discovered Liapis and an unresponsive male, later identified as Matthew Heffner, in the vehicle.   Officers performed life-saving measures on Heffner and both he and Liapis were transported to an area hospital for treatment.  Heffner later died of his injuries on April 7.

Jacob Liapis. Photo: DuPage County State’s Attorney.

After the police investigated the crash, it is alleged that Liapis was driving his Cadillac ATS, with Heffner in the passenger seat, northbound near the 5500 block of Fairmount Avenue at approximately 69 mph in a 25-mph zone when he disobeyed a stop sign and lost control of the Cadillac. It is further alleged that the Cadillac became airborne and rolled several times causing Heffner to be ejected from the vehicle.

“It is alleged that Mr. Liapis’ reckless actions of ignoring a stop sign and excessive speeding cost his best friend, Matthew Heffner, his life,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement. “This tragic loss of a young, promising life will forever change the lives of the friends and family of those who loved Matthew, including Mr. Liapis. Speed limits and stop signs serve a purpose on our roadways and I urge everyone to drive carefully and obey the law. Ignoring posted speed limits and other signage can result in tragic consequences, as we saw in this case.”

Liapis has been charged with one felony count of reckless homicide.