SYCAMORE - Hours after the incident, roads are back open and DeKalb County Sheriff’s officials continue to investigate a car which crashed into the front of the Sycamore Police Department building late Wednesday morning.
Andy Sullivan, chief deputy for the sheriff’s office, said at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday the Kane County Bomb Squad used robotic devices to probe for potential explosives to inspect the crashed car “just for precautionary measures.” The robots opened doors and the trunk of the silver Sedan, which had not yet been towed from the scene where it crashed into the front brick wall near the entrance of the police department.
Sullivan said there were no explosives found in the car and “the vehicle was determined safe by the bomb squad.” He said the probe was not prompted by anything suspicious being seen in the car’s cabin.
“That was just out of an abundance of caution, that we wanted to do that,” Sullivan said.
The sheriff’s office is taking lead on the incident investigation, according to police on scene late Wednesday morning.
[ Photos: Car crashes into Sycamore Police Department Wednesday ]
Police blocked off DeKalb Avenue for four blocks at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and Stark Avenue while the inspection was underway. Those blockages have since been lifted.
At 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, sheriff’s police determined the silver 2013 Hyundai was traveling eastbound on DeKalb Avenue “when, for an unknown reason, [the car] left the roadway and crashed into the west side of the building at a high rate of speed,” according to a Wednesday afternoon news release from the sheriff’s office.
The car appeared to have front end damage and the front of the police department at 535 DeKalb Avenue also sustained damage. Front and side airbags had gone off within the car.
Sycamore Deputy Chief Steve Cook said about 10:15 a.m. he along with a few other police officials were inside the building and heard a loud noise.
“And then I realized someone hit the building,” Cook said.
Cook said officers are still piecing together details, but the driver – later identified as Benjamin Eisenach, 37, of Hinckley – was the only occupant in the silver sedan when it crashed into the building.
The extent of the man’s injuries aren’t yet known, though he was taken to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, Cook said.
No one else, including any officers inside the building or bystanders around the area, reported injuries.
Sullivan said the car just missed the front doors by a couple feet and did not end up driving into the building.
“Thankfully there were no pedestrians at the time,” Sullivan said. “ … Thankfully, nobody was injured.”
Sullivan said there was no indication to sheriff’s deputies that Eisenach was driving impaired. As of about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Eisenach was still in the hospital but did not sustain life-threatening injuries, Sullivan said.
Sullivan said it wasn’t apparent whether a medical emergency caused Eisenach to crash into the police department building.
“And if there was, he’s in the right place right now,” Sullivan said Wednesday afternoon.
Eisenach was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning at the DeKalb County Courthouse on an unrelated matter, regarding an October 2020 incident when he was charged with aggravated battery to a peace officer, according to court records.
Sullivan said the crash investigation remains ongoing Wednesday.
“We’re still trying to piece things together,” Sullivan said.
Maria Del Valle, who is from Puerto Rico and visiting her toddler grandson in his Sycamore home, said she heard a loud bang at about 10:20 a.m.
“I thought it was the baby dropping his toys,” Del Valle said.
Del Valle said her son then told her to look outside.
“And I looked out the window and saw the car banged up there,” Del Valle said. She was one of several passersby late Wednesday morning gathered around the crash scene to get a glimpse of the silver Sedan which collided into the front of the Sycamore Police Department.
Officers from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office were also on scene.
“We have turned it over to the sheriff’s office for the investigation,” Cook said.
There was some glass scattered around the crash site, along with about a 10-foot crack in the brick’s exterior to the front of the police department, which has since been roped off.
“Luckily, no one was standing outside,” Cook said.
Cook said officials from the City of Sycamore’s engineering department came by to take a look and check on the structure of building. They determined the police department was not in danger of collapsing.
“The dollar amount of damage that was caused to the building is unknown,” sheriff’s officials wrote in the statement.
No arrests have been made regarding the incident as of 4:30 p.m. Sullivan confirmed Wednesday afternoon, and there have been no arrests made or charges filed stemming from the crash.
This story was updated at 2:35 p.m. with information regarding an inspection conducted by robotic units for potential explosives, which officials said was a “precautionary measure.”
This story was updated at 4:20 p.m. with information provided in a Wednesday afternoon news release from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.