A vehicle that crashed into a piece of construction equipment and burst into flames in Racine County, Wisconsin on Friday morning was registered to 24-year-old Destiny Tolodxi, who was found dead inside a Rockford, Illinois home several hours after the crash.
Tolodxi’s death is now being linked to the fiery construction zone crash on Interstate 94, about 100 miles north of Rockford in Wisconsin. The 2006 Pontiac G6 GT involved in the crash was registered to Tolodxi.
The driver was the only person inside the car at the time of the crash and died at the scene. Winnebago County Deputy Chief Mike Schultz says that the driver of the car is being called a person of interest in Tolodxi’s case, according to WIFR 23.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Tolodxi’s Car was Involved in a Fatal Accident Hours Before her Body was Discovered
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said the crash occurred around 9:20 after the car hit a construction excavator on I-94/41 southbound near 3 Mile Road in Racine County, according to WISN.
A witness reported the car was southbound on the interstate when the driver’s side front wheel fell off, causing the car to pull abruptly to the left. The car continued through barricades into the construction area, where it struck the unattended excavator and burst into flames.
The crash killed the car’s driver, whose body was burned beyond recognition, the sheriff’s office said Friday.
The identity of the driver has not been released pending notification of the family.
2. Facebook was Awash with Tributes to Tolodxi, Including an Emotional YouTube Dedication
Listed on Tolodxi’s Facebook as her sister, Savannah Tolodxi posted a YouTube video tribute to her sister, as well as emotional posts filled with pictures and heartfelt memories.
“The moment that you left me my heart split in two,” the tribute read. “One side is filled with memories, the other side died with you. Remembering you is easy but missing you is the heartache that never goes away.”
“I love you so much sis,” read the post. “Rest in paradise. I will hold you in my heart untill (sic) I can hold you in heaven. Rest In Peace. I love you so much. Heaven gained a beautiful angel.”
3. Tolodxi was a CNA at Rockford Memorial Hospital and Remembered as Patient, Kind and a “Sweet Spirit” on Facebook
Tolodxi’s Facebook profile lists her most recent job as an ACC/ICU CNA at Rockford Memorial Hospital. She worked at another hospital before Rockford Memorial, and at a nursing home as a CNA as well.
Tributes include memories of Tolodxi as a student at Auburn High School, and how she brightened the day of those around her.
Jonathan Kehoe left an emotional tribute to Tolodxi on a post by her sister Savannah, remembering her as a good person who was mature and helpful.
“I mostly remember how we talked during down time in class and she brightened my day. She would talk about wanting to go for a drive in her car and she spoke very highly of her family. She really was a good person and I’m sure she’ll be missed by anyone who was lucky enough to meet her.”
Others remembered her as a “sweet spirit” and a “beautiful soul.”
4. The Driver of the Vehicle Involved in the Crash is Connected to Tolodxi
WISN reports that hours after the crash, Tolodxi’s body was discovered at about 4 p.m. when her sister returned home, Schultz said.
A family member had gone to the house to check on her sister because she hadn’t heard from her all day. Upon arrival, found her deceased in her bedroom,” said Schultz, according to Fox 6.
The body in the car was badly burned and remained unidentified Saturday afternoon.
“We have a pretty good idea of who we believe it is, it’s just not proper to speculate without positive identification,” Schultz said, according to WISN.
5. Tolodxi’s Death is Being Treated as a Homicide, Although there were No Immediate Signs of Trauma
According to Rockford Registered Star, Schultz said blood was found at the scene of Tolodxi’s death. It didn’t appear to be the result of a drug overdose, according to Schultz.
The death is being investigated as a homicide, Schultz confirmed.
Coroner Bill Hintz said he couldn’t comment on whether there were any outward signs of trauma.
An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, but toxicology test results will take at least two weeks, Hintz said.