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Ex-Streets And San Worker Gets 9 Years For Plowing Into Crowd

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A former Chicago Streets and Sanitation worker has been sentenced to nine years in prison for ramming his pickup into a crowd at a Gold Coast intersection in May of last year.

Criminal Court Judge Judge James B. Linn handed down the sentence Wednesday against Dwight Washington, 62, who pleaded guilty last week to four counts of aggravated DUI, the Sun-Times Media Wire reported.

Washington was a laborer for Streets and San when he lost control of the city Ford F-150 pickup he was driving last May 21, and hit the people, some of whom were models in a wedding photo shoot at the junction of Rush, State and Cedar streets – which meet at a plaza called Mariano Park.

The accident injured seven people, and it could have been worse, but for the actions of a Chicago nanny.

Jennifer Anton, a nanny, was crossing the street with a baby in a stroller at the time of the crash in March 2010. She pushed the baby out of danger, but absorbed a brutal blow that changed her life.

She has suffered through 12 surgeries to repair a broken hip and crushed pelvis and soft-tissue injuries. Friday's court action provided some measure of relief.

Police said they found half a bottle of brandy in the truck Washington was driving. They also said that Washington's blood alcohol level was 0.183, more than twice the legal limit. But, they added, Washington had no publishable priors.

Washington's attorney says he wasn't supposed to work the day of the accident but he unexpectedly got called in. That's why he'd been drinking.

He was almost laid off 12 years ago, and feared if he didn't report for overtime work, he'd be fired.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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