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Couple dies in crash, woman pleads guilty to DUI

A chain reaction motor vehicle accident, caused by distracted driving ended with the death of a pair of motorcyclists in Kane County. Although police say she was not impaired while driving, the Aurora driver blamed for the fatal motorcycle crash recently pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI.

The defense attorney for the 27-year-old woman driver said his client was distracted as she reached for a pair of sunglasses. By the time the driver's attention returned to the road, traffic at the intersection had stopped.

The impact of the 2009 rear-end collision on Illinois Route 47 caused the struck car to collide into the back of the vehicle ahead of it. The car at the front of the chain reaction collision stopped to make a turn and was shoved into the path of oncoming traffic. A St. Charles couple died when the motorcycles they were riding struck the car thrust into their paths.

A blood test revealed traces of marijuana in the suspected driver's system, although the level of the drug registered below legal guidelines for impairment. The suspect admitted to police investigators that she had smoked marijuana several days before the crash.

Reckless driving was the initial charge brought against the Aurora driver. Prosecutors upped the charge to aggravated DUI after a state Supreme Court ruling was made in April. The high court decision allows a driver who tests positive for any illegal substance to be charged with the harsher offense.

An early February sentencing date is set. The sentence for the DUI driving charge could be as light as probation or as long as a 28-year prison term.

Source: chicagotribune.com, "Woman pleads guilty to DUI in fatal crash," Clifford Ward, Dec. 10, 2011

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