Watch CBS News

Man Agrees To 8 Years For DUI Crash That Injured Six

ST. CHARLES (STMW) -- An Elgin man has pleaded guilty to drunken driving in a crash on Christmas Eve 2008 that injured six people.

James M. Palmer, 38, of the 900 block of Cookane Avenue in Elgin, on Tuesday afternoon agreed with the Kane County State's Attorney to a sentence of eight years in the Illinois Department of Corrections in exchange for a guilty plea to one count of aggravated DUI, a Class 4 felony. Associate Judge Patricia P. Golden accepted the plea, according to a release from the Kane County State's Attorney's office.

About 9:15 a.m. on Dec. 24, 2008, Kane County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call for a crash with injuries on U.S. Route 20 just west of Marshall Road, southwest of Pingree Grove in northern Plato Township. Deputies arrived to find a black 1997 Toyota Tacoma pickup and a 1997 Hyundai Sonata both in the east lane of Route 20, both with extensive front-end damage; the pickup was facing west.

The road was covered with snow and snow was falling. Paramedics were treating Palmer, the driver of the pickup. The driver and five passengers from the Hyundai had to be extricated from the vehicle, the release said. Deputies noted a strong odor of alcohol on Palmer's breath, watery eyes and slurred speech, and Palmer told deputies that he had been drinking alcohol the previous night and early into the morning, according to the release.

All seven people involved in the crash were taken to the hospital. Because responding officers observed that Palmer showed signs of impairment, hospital personnel drew a blood sample. The sample indicated Palmer's blood-alcohol concentration was .270, more than three times Illinois' legal limit of .08.

The driver of the Hyundai suffered a broken ankle, a passenger suffered a broken femur, and at least one passenger suffered permanent injuries.

Based on Illinois law, Palmer was given day-for-day sentencing. He was given credit for one day served in the Kane County jail, the release said. Palmer had been free on $500 bond.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.