Man enters guilty plea in fatal 1-car accident

A 21-year-old Illinois man entered a guilty plea in Tazewell County Circuit Court earlier this month in relation to a one-car accident that resulted in the death of a passenger in that vehicle. He was initially charged with aggravated DUI causing death and several other charges after the September crash, but he ultimately pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and the other charges were dismissed.

The plea will result in a 90-day jail sentence as well as 30 months of probation, and 20 hours of community service. He has also been fined $750 and is responsible for $2,500 in court fees. It is not clear whether the family of the victim, a 23-year-old Elgin man, is also seeking to hold the driver accountable with a wrongful death lawsuit.

When the accident took place, the driver was taking himself and four passengers–all of them students at Illinois Central College–back from a party. He reportedly failed to properly negotiate a curve in the road and the car rolled, ejecting the 23-year-old passenger. The vehicle landed on that victim. None of the other passengers or the driver were injured.

In the aftermath of fatal car accidents, the families of victims sometimes file wrongful death actions against the negligent drivers. This can result in compensation for funeral expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and some of the other tangible costs of such a loss.

Of course, this does not lessen the emotional anguish that such a tragic event brings. It only helps eliminate some of the financial burden. Those who are interested in such actions may benefit from legal counsel.

Source:, “Man takes plea in fatal East Peoria accident,” March 18, 2013