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Driver receives 10 years in prison for fatal motorcycle accident

A fatal combination of drugs and road rage led to a man striking and killing a motorcyclist at a Naperville intersection last summer. Now, the driver who struck the man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the fatal motorcycle accident.

Prosecutors said the driver had been chasing three teenagers in another car after getting in a dispute with them. He turned in front of traffic at an intersection, which forced a 63-year-old motorcyclist to crash into the car. The man stopped briefly and then left to continue chasing the teens. When he was stopped by police, blood tests found marijuana and cocaine in his system.

The motorcyclist died at the scene. His wife said he was a cancer survivor who had just started riding motorcycles after years of treatment. She said that after surviving cancer, her husband could not survive a careless person like the driver of the car.

The motorcyclist's son said he thought the sentence was too light. Prosecutors had asked for 20 years in prison, or twice as long as the motorcyclist received. The son also noted something that anyone who has lost a family member in an accident knows: Regardless of the length of the man's sentence, the son has a void in his life because his father is gone.

As warm weather continues, motorcyclists will be out enjoying the freedom of the road that a motorcycle brings. It's important for motorcyclists to be aware of the potential dangers on the road, and it's also important for other drivers to watch out for motorcycles. By taking care, drivers can prevent the anguish that families go through when a loved one is killed in a motorcycle accident.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Driver gets 10 years for fatal crash," Dawn Rhodes, May 30, 2013

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