Four people have been charged after two people fell and were injured — one critically — at Starved Rock State Park on Sunday after a group of young people were illegally drinking at the park, police said.
A 21-year-old man from southwest suburban Lockport was being treated at a Peoria hospital after suffering critical injuries when he fell 40 feet in French Canyon at the state park about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Illinois Conservation Police Sgt. Robert Frazier said today.
Gerard Ziomek, 20, also of Lockport, was found by police walking the trails of the park with a limp after someone called police to say there was someone who had been injured in a fall, Frazier said. At first, authorities thought Ziomek, who appeared intoxicated, was the only person injured, but they soon received a 911 call saying someone was still in French Canyon, injured.
After running into the wife of an emergency medical technician in their search, police were able to find the 21-year-old and discover he had fallen 40 feet in the canyon, Frazier said. He was taken to the hospital via medical helicopter, Frazier said. His condition had been upgraded to serious.
Ziomek declined medical treatment at the scene.
Following the incident, Ziomek, along with Vincent S. Piazza and Tracy A. Wagner, both 20 and also of Lockport, were charged with unlawful consumption of alcohol and taken to the LaSalle County Jail, Frazier said.
Ziomek and John J. Ziomek and John Strickland, 21, also of Lockport, were cited with unlawful entry into a restricted area of the park.
Police were still investigating, and further charges may be brought against those involved.
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