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Man Sentenced in Downers Grove DUI Crash That Killed Student

Downers Grove DUI crashA man has been sentenced to seven years in a Downers Grove DUI crash that killed a 17-year-old high school student in 2019.

Seven Years in Prison for Downers Grove DUI Crash

The Downers Grove DUI crash took place on Feb. 19, 2019. On that date, 52-year-old Naperville resident Joseph Kucharski was driving on Main Street, near its intersection with Grant Street. His vehicle was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes. At that time, Downers Grove North High School student Elizabeth Dunlap was crossing Main Street with the walk signal. Kucharski then drove through a red light and into the intersection, colliding with Elizabeth. She died three days later from the injuries she sustained.

At the time of the collision, Kucharski’s blood alcohol content was .031 percent, and he showed further signs of impairment. In addition to alcohol, Kucharski reportedly had Xanax and cocaine in his system. Police also found Xanax, Benadryl, and suboxone in Kucharski’s car, along with two crack pipes, crack cocaine, other drugs, vodka, and beer in a hotel room in which he had been staying.

In January, Kucharski entered a blind plea of guilty to aggravated DUI involving a death and reckless homicide. Prosecutors had asked for the maximum penalty of 14 years in prison for him, though he only received a seven-year sentence in the Downers Grove DUI crash.

Kucharski must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

The Menace of Drunk Driving

The menace of drunk driving is well known, as can be seen in the case of the Downers Grove DUI crash. Drunk drivers have their reflexes, reaction times, and judgment impaired, and they routinely engage in some of the riskiest activities on the road, including speeding and improper lane usage. As a result, the injuries that may be incurred from drunk-driving accidents can be especially devastating.

But despite the obvious risks, irresponsible people continue to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and their innocent victims suffer the consequences. According to one report commissioned by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, drunk driving accounts for 28 percent of all traffic deaths, with an average of 29 people across the country dying in alcohol-related crashes each day, in addition to many more non-fatal injuries. In fact, 40 percent of people killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents are those who are not the drunk driver.

Drunk Driver Accident Lawyers in Your Time of Need

If you have been injured by somebody who was impaired, retain the Chicago drunk driver accident attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.

GWC represents clients who have been injured or the families of those who have been killed by drunk drivers, and we fight to obtain compensation from every responsible party. Our experienced Chicago drunk driver accident lawyers will always conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether that driver became intoxicated at a bar, restaurant, or other commercial establishment and pursue them with what is known as a Dram Shop claim. GWC’s dedicated attorneys will work tirelessly to get you and your family the justice you deserve, just as we have done with so many injured clients for more than four decades, with over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements recovered on their behalf.

To schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our Chicago car accident lawyers, contact GWC today. You can call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.