A former Chicago police detective was handed a sentence of eight years in prison for causing a fiery car crash that left two young men dead on the Dan Ryan Expressway in 2009.
Families of the victims were distraught after the sentence was announced. The judge could have sentenced the former homicide detective to 31 years in the deaths of a 21-year-old DePaul University student and his 23-year-old friend.
The 18-year veteran of the police force had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system at the time of the crash.
The former cop rammed his SUV into the rear end of the victims' car which was having mechanical problems on the expressway near Roosevelt Road.
After the crash, another driver helped the former police officer out of his crumpled Lexus. The drunk driver then fled the scene but was apprehended a short distance away.
One of the mothers of the victims was sobbing after the sentence was announced, distraught at the leniency of the punishment.
"Eight years for the lives of two young boys?" said the mother. "It's like a slap in the face, it's an injustice, it's like we don't even matter."
The former police officer pled guilty back in September to aggravated DUI charges, but contended that he had not intentionally tried to run from the wreckage. He said he had been injured in the crash and was disoriented.
When the families of victims in similar cases feels justice hasn't been served, they often discuss their legal options -- including a wrongful death suit -- with an attorney experienced in this complex area of law.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Ex-Chicago detective gets 8 years in fatal '09 DUI crash," Nov. 16, 2012
- Our firm represents clients in similar tragedies. For more information, please visit our Chicago wrongful death page.