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Preliminary report: Rising McCormick senior Mihirtej Boddupalli died from drowning

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A preliminary coroner’s report indicates that rising McCormick senior Mihirtej Boddupalli died from drowning Saturday morning after the car he was riding in landed in a water-filled quarry in Naperville, Illinois.

Rising McCormick senior Michael Szot, who was driving the car at the time of the crash, was able to swim to safety. Both Boddupalli and the second passenger, Sajaad Safiullah Syed, died from drowning, according to the coroner’s preliminary reports.

DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen said that although he could confirm the preliminary cause of death, the definitive cause of death could not be determined until the toxicology and pathology reports were released. This process could take one to two weeks to complete, he said.

The crash occurred in Naperville at about 2 a.m. Saturday morning, when the vehicle hit several trees before landing in Quarry Lake. All three occupants of the vehicle were transported to Edward Hospital where the two passengers were pronounced dead.

After being released from the hospital, Szot was arrested in connection with the crash. He was released from DuPage County Jail on Monday afternoon after his bond was posted, said Joe Colsant, a partner of Fawell & Associates, the firm representing Szot.

Szot was charged with four counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol causing the death of another and two counts of reckless homicide, police said.

Szot’s blood alcohol content was found to be above the legal limit of .08, and he admitted to smoking marijuana prior to the crash, according to a news release ​from the office of Robert Berlin, the State’s Attorney of DuPage County​.

Email: pl@u.northwestern.edu
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