84-year-old crash victim 'did everything for other people'

  • Authorities believe alcohol was a factor in a fatal head-on crash Thursday in Barrington Hills.

    Authorities believe alcohol was a factor in a fatal head-on crash Thursday in Barrington Hills. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Published: 4/9/2010 3:48 PM | Updated: 4/9/2010 5:47 PM

Sarah Yaple's loved ones are devastated at losing the family's 84-year-old matriarch.

"She did everything for other people, volunteered and gave to her community," daughter Diane Skidmore-Dailey said. "This is such a senseless tragedy."

Yaple, who lived with her daughter and son-in-law in St. Charles, was one of two drivers killed in a head-on collision Thursday afternoon on Dundee Road in Barrington Hills.

The family is also upset that drunken driving may have played a role in her death. A police statement said that alcohol was a contributing factor in the accident, but police have declined to elaborate.

The crash occurred around 4:15 p.m. near the Barrington-Barrington Hills border just west of Dundee Lane on Dundee Road (Route 68), Barrington Hills police said.

A tan 2004 Nissan Maxima, driven by 24-year-old Oscar Arce from North Aurora, was eastbound on Route 68 and crossed the solid yellow line, police said.

The car smashed head-on into a white 2002 Buick LeSabre driven by Yaple.

Doctors pronounced both dead at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates.

Paramedics also took Oscar Arce's brother, Eloy Arce, 25, of North Aurora, to the hospital, where he was listed in fair condition Thursday evening. The hospital would not update his condition on Friday.

Family said Yaple was an active and selfless woman. Formerly of Mattoon, Yaple was born in Basil, Ohio and graduated from Ohio State University.

She was a member of Eastern Star and had been an active member of the Sarah Bush Hospital Auxiliary in Mattoon.

Her husband of 48 years, Robert Yaple, died in 1994. Together they had two children, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Neighbor Janette Lamb said she would see Yaple walking her black dog, Colonel, around nearby Hunt Club Park.

"We always exchanged pleasantries," Lamb said. "She seemed like a very nice woman."

A funeral service for Yaple will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 10, at Yurs Funeral Home, 405 E. Main St., St. Charles. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

No funeral information was available about Oscar Arce.

Court records show Arce had been found guilty of several driving-related offenses including squealing/screeching tires, failure to obey a stop sign, failure to display/carry a license and disregarding a traffic control device.

Barrington Hills police are handling the investigation, aided by the Major Crash Assistance Team. They continue to investigate.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office conducted autopsies Friday and ruled both Yaple and Arce died to due multiple injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

There have not been a disproportionate number of crashes in the area of Thursday's crash, Barrington Hills Village President Robert Abboud said.

He hasn't felt the need to discuss road improvements on Route 68 the way he has on Route 62, for instance.

"Anytime you have a rural stretch of road with high speeds and intersecting local roadways, there's an increased potential for accidents," Abboud said. The speed limit on this stretch of Route 68 is 55 mph.

"But it doesn't appear this (accident) had a whole lot to do with the construction of roadway itself," Abboud added.

• Staff writer Susan Sarkauskas contributed to this report.