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Illinois man sentenced for crashing into house

A 26-year-old man must serve eight years in prison after a Sept. 18 sentencing hearing that stemmed from a 2103 auto accident. The man entered a guilty plea to the felony charge of aggravated DUI causing death on July 2 after he purportedly drove an SUV into a residence and killed a 73-year-old man.

According to officials, the deadly 2013 car accident occurred on Jan. 13, when the 26-year-old took the keys to a family member's SUV, drove through a residential neighborhood and lost control of the vehicle, ultimately crashing into the residence housing the 73-year-old man. The driver's blood alcohol content at the time of the accident exceeded the legal limit of .08 percent, according to a chemical sobriety test purportedly administered to the 26-year-old man after the crash. Reportedly, the man's record indicates two prior DUI convictions.

He was initially charged with five offenses, including failing to report the accident involving a fatality or personal injury. However, per a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped four of the charges in exchange for the one felony count to which he entered a guilty plea. The man must serve a minimum of 85 percent of the imposed sentence, authorities reported.

The assessment of criminal penalties in connection with an accident does not preclude the at-fault party from being named in a civil suit stemming from the same accident. That is because criminal cases and civil cases are adjudicated independently, and certain family members of people killed in auto accidents caused by reckless or negligent driving may file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver.

In this way, bereaved family members may seek financial compensation for pecuniary damages they suffered as a result of the fatal event. These damages may include end-of-life expenses and lost earnings related to the decedent.

Source: , "Man sentenced for deadly crash into home", Linda Welller, September 18, 2014

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