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Geneva man pleads guilty in deadly DUI crash in Aurora

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DUPAGE COUNTY, Ill. (CBS) – A Geneva man pleads guilty in connection to a DUI crash that left one man dead, and another seriously hurt in Aurora last year.

The DuPage County State's Attorney's office said Nicholas Roepke, 30, appeared in court Wednesday where he entered a blind plea of guilty. He is charged with one count of aggravated DUI causing death and one count of aggravated DUI causing great bodily harm.

Aurora police officers responded to a crash on northbound Eola Road on March 7, 2022, around 7:40 p.m.

Upon arrival, officers found the victim, 73-year-old Willie Mosley, of Maywood, suffering from serious injuries. Mosley was immediately taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An investigation into the crash found that Mosley and another individual had stopped on the road and - with the assistance of a good Samaritan who pulled over to help - were reloading a refrigerator onto a pickup truck that had fallen off the truck.

As the men were loading the refrigerator onto the truck, a vehicle - driven by Roepke - crashed into the truck pinning Mosley between the vehicle and the truck and injuring the two other men.

A man traveling with Mosley suffered minor injuries and refused medical treatment. The other man who pulled over to assist was taken to a hospital for medical attention after suffering serious injuries.

Roepke was transported to a local hospital for medical attention to minor injuries and was released to Aurora police. The investigation also found that his blood alcohol level was .214 shortly after the crash.

Roepke appeared at a bond hearing days later on March 10 where his bond was set at $500,000 with 10% to apply.

He posted the necessary 10%, or $50,000, later that day and was released from custody and remained on SCRAM monitoring.

"Just over one year ago, Willie Mosley's life came to a violent, abrupt end simply because Mr. Roepke, with a stunning disregard for not only his own personal safety but also the safety of innocent others, got behind the wheel after he had been drinking," said State's Attorney Robert Berlin said. "Driving is a privilege, not a right. It is a privilege and a responsibility that if not respected, can lead to tragic, irreversible outcomes, as we saw in this case."

Roepke is due back in court on May 2 for a pre-sentence report. He faces a penalty of up to 14 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections to be served at 85%.      

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