Video shows high-speed crash at Arlington Heights intersection, man charged with DUI

A Northfield man is facing multiple charges after a high-speed crash in Arlington Heights Sunday morning. 

Police say around 7:33 a.m. a 2020 Nissan sideswiped a Toyota Camry before crashing into a rail grade crossing signal at the corner of Arlington Heights Road and Northwest Highway. 

The driver of the Nissan, Johnny Benitez, had to be extracted from the car by fire personnel. 

Benitez was taken to Lutheran General Hospital. The driver of the Toyota was taken to Northwest Community Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Each vehicle was occupied by the driver only.

The car reached speeds over 100 mph prior to the crash, police say. After the crash the car came to a stop on the railway tracks which caused the three tracks to be closed for several hours. 

Union Pacific Railroad quickly responded to the scene following the crash to begin necessary repairs of the damaged grade crossing signals. Since the crash, all incoming train traffic has been required to provide audible signal (train horn) when approaching the crossing due to the repairs. 

The entire crash was caught on video from an exterior business surveillance camera mounted near the intersection. 

Police say Benitez was under the influence of alcohol and was arrested following his release from the hospital. 

A man crashed his car into a rail grade crossing signal at the corner of Arlington Heights Road and Northwest Highway while under the influence of alcohol, police say.


He was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, driving on a revoked license, speeding 35+ over the limit, improper lane usage, failure to reduce speed, operating an uninsured vehicle, and failure to wear a seatbelt. 

Benitez appeared in court Tuesday and was issued a $15,000 bond. He is expected in court again on Nov. 23.