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Illinois driver gets prison time for motorcycle wreck

Although the legal system attempts to keep unlicensed drivers off the road, repeat offenders have a habit of cropping up throughout the nation and the state of Illinois. In a recent case, an Elgin woman who had previously been cited multiple times for unlicensed driving is finally serving jail time for her role in a 2011 motorcycle accident.The woman had struck and killed a motorcycle driven by a 25-year-old victim as she attempted to make a left turn at an intersection in her large SUV. The motorcyclist had the right-of-way.

The woman in this case had been cited for a whopping nine violations since 1994 for driving on a suspended license. Her license had been suspended for both failing to pay a series of traffic citations and violating insurance regulations, according to courtroom records. After this accident, the woman will be spending five years in prison because of her repeated violations.

Official reports show that the woman pleaded guilty this summer to two felonies, including aggravated DUI and failure to report an accident involving death. Witnesses told investigators that the woman drove away from the scene after hesitating for a moment after the crash. Investigators found the woman shortly after the collision, as she had traveled to her boyfriend's home. The victim was declared dead at the scene.

Prosecutors said they hoped that the sentence would provide some measure of comfort for the victim's family members. They also hoped to send a message to others about the consequences of choosing to drive on a suspended license. Victims of this type of negligent driver deserve justice in the criminal courts, but they can also seek additional redress through the civil court system. Family members can recover damages for medical expenses, burial costs and a variety of other civil claims in connection with such a motorcycle accident. Even after a defendant has been convicted in criminal court, he or she could be subject to additional punishment through wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits.

Source: The Courier-News, "Elgin woman gets prison time for leaving scene of fatal crash" No author given, Dec. 08, 2013

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