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Aurora Man Charged In Crash That Killed Naperville Woman

WHEATON, Ill. (STMW) -- A convicted burglar who also spent time in jail 11 years ago for inebriated driving stands accused of having been under the influence of narcotics when his pickup truck allegedly struck and killed a bicyclist early last fall on Naperville's far northeast side.

Joshua R. Spuhler, 36, of Aurora, has also been found guilty at least three times of drug-related offenses. He is free on $25,000 bond and awaiting trial on a felony charge of aggravated DUI in an accident causing death, according to records on file in DuPage County Circuit Court in Wheaton.

Spuhler, a former Naperville resident, is accused of striking bicyclist Shwu-Wei Yeh with his pickup truck about 7:25 a.m. Sept. 25, as both were traveling near Diehl Road and Freedom Drive, just south of Interstate 88.

Yeh, 56, lived on the 900 block of East Amberwood Circle in Naperville's Edgewood neighborhood. Her home was about a mile south and west of the crash scene.

Naperville police Cmdr. Lou Cammiso said Yeh was hit by a gray, 2006 Nissan Titan. The truck was traveling east on Diehl Road as Yeh was attempting to cross the street to the north, just east of its intersection with Freedom Drive, Cammiso said last year.

The pickup driver was not identified by police following the crash, but Cammiso said he told investigators he "just felt like he hit somebody, (but) didn't see anyone."

Paramedics took Yeh to Edward Hospital in Naperville, where she later died of her injuries.

Cmdr. Ken Parcel on Thursday said police consulted with investigators from DuPage County State's Attorney Robert B. Berlin's office before charging Spuhler with aggravated driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Spuhler surrendered Tuesday night at the police station to undergo fingerprinting, photographing and processing, and was later released on bond, Parcel said in a release.

An examination of documents on file in Will County Circuit Court in Joliet revealed Naperville police arrested Spuhler on June 12, 2002 in connection with two home burglaries that had occurred over the previous two days.

Spuhler on Feb. 21, 2003 was found guilty of charges of residential burglary, attempted residential burglary and use of a credit card of another, court records indicated. A judge that day sentenced him to concurrent terms totaling four years in prison, records showed.

Records on file in Kane County Circuit Court indicated Spuhler was charged in March 1997 with burglary. Details of that alleged crime could not be immediately learned.

Naperville police in late October 1998 arrested Spuhler for driving under the influence of alcohol and several other traffic-related offenses, according to DuPage County Circuit Court records.

He was sentenced in March 2003 to 74 days in DuPage County Jail in that case, records showed.

Spuhler was ticketed in March 1996 by Naperville police for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Records indicated he paid fines and legal costs to settle that case.

He was arrested again in September 1997 for misdemeanor possession of between 10 and 30 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia in Aurora, according to records. He was sentenced in July 1999 to 20 days in jail.

Aurora police arrested Spuhler again in July 1998 on a charge of possession of 2.5 grams or less of marijuana. Records showed a judge in December of that year placed him on a year of conditional discharge, a form of probation.

Spuhler was arrested yet again in May 1999 on a charge of resisting a police officer in Aurora. Records indicated he was sentenced that July to 70 days in jail.

Parcel said Spuhler is scheduled to appear Feb. 10 in court to answer the aggravated DUI charge.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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