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7-year sentence handed down to driver in crash that severed leg

An Illinois man was recently sentenced to a seven-year stint in prison for a drunk-driving crash more than two years ago that severed a motorcyclist's leg.

The 46-year-old defendant was convicted in June of aggravated driving under the influence (four counts), which was his third DUI. The Kane County judge allowed credit for the five days he spent in jail after his arrest before he was able to bond out.

The accident occurred on May 17, 2014, around 5 p.m. in rural Kane County. The defendant was driving north in a Dodge Ram pickup and crossed the center line. The motorcyclist was southbound on his Harley-Davidson and attempted evasive moves to get to the shoulder and avoid being struck by the truck, to no avail.

Even though he was critically injured, he was able to apply a tourniquet to his left leg, which was severed beneath his knee, and dial 911. Doctors were forced to amputate the entire leg, requiring the injured motorcycle rider to wear a prosthetic device.

The driver's blood alcohol content was .192 after the collision, which is almost two-and-a-half times more than the legal limit.

Despite the many campaigns for motorcycle awareness and against drunk driving, drivers still pose a very serious threat to the lives and wellbeing of Illinois motorcyclists. In this case, the rider was left with permanent disabilities; however, in many instances, fatalities result when cars and trucks tangle with motorcyclists.

While a conviction in criminal court can bolster a case against a defendant in a civil action stemming from the same incident, it is never necessary for a conviction to result in order to pursue civil justice after a wreck.

Source: CBS Chicago, "Man Gets 7 Years In Prison For Drunk Driving Crash That Severed Man’s Leg," Oct. 12, 2016

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