An Aurora man will serve seven years behind bars for striking two and killing one with his van back in 2010. The 33-year-old man was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in serious bodily injury or death, to which he pleaded guilty in February of this year.
The prosecution stated that the defendant had been drinking on October 25, 2010 and later chose to get behind the wheel and drive. The defendant approached Grant Street in North Aurora where a man and woman were walking around 2:00 a.m. The defendant struck both pedestrians with his van and fled the scene without speaking with police or even checking to see if his victims were alive.
The female victim, a 22-year-old Cicero resident, died as a result of the accident. She had been walking with her boyfriend, now 25 years old, when both were hit. The man survived the crash with serious injuries, including injuries to his shoulder, knee, and head with a knee replacement needed at some future point.
The defendant driver of the van turned himself in to authorities as an Aurora police station approximately two hours after the incident. His blood alcohol content was measured so that the level at the time of the crash could be determined. Based upon the results, prosecutors contended that the defendant had a BAC between .10 and 0.18, higher than the legal limit of .08. Armed with this information, the defendant was charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a crash.
The presiding judge sentenced the defendant to seven years, four of which were for the charge of leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, and the other three for aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol. The sentences are concurrent, meaning that the defendant will have to serve one and then the other back-to-back, totaling a seven year prison sentence behind bars.
This accident illustrates how quickly one or more bad decisions can turn deadly. A car may be a means of transportation but when in the wrong hands, it can also be a weapon. Here, a driver admitted that he had been drinking and that he chose to drive anyway. Even if he had not caused an accident, he would have committed a crime simply by operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Not only did this man drive drunk, but he also struck two pedestrians, killing one and seriously injuring the other.
Illinois makes it a crime to leave the scene of an accident and it is a felony if that accident results in death or serious bodily injury. The rationale behind this law is that if a motorist stops and stays at the scene, the motorist may be able to call for help, increasing the chance of a victim surviving or limiting the extent of injuries suffered. When a driver fails to remain at the scene, that driver can face serious time behind bars, like the defendant in this accident now faces.
If you have been the victim of a car accident, you should know that you are afforded legal protections and rights and that you may be entitled to a financial recovery. Call the Chicago DUI injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free telephone consultation and let us help you understand your options. There is never an obligation associated with our consultation and we have a lawyer standing by now to take your call at (312) 924-7575. After an accident, you deserve to have legal representation fighting for your rights. Call us now and let us fight for you.
Prior Blog Entries:
Driver Distracted By Cell Phone Charging Cord Causes Fatal Accident, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published August 20, 2013.
Woman Killed After Man Leaves Car Running, Son Accidentally Puts it in Gear, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published August 19, 2013.
Seven years for Aurora motorist in fatal hit and run, by Clifford Ward, Chicago Tribune, published August 21, 2013.