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Illinois woman charged in fatal crash had seizure history

Driving restrictions may be placed upon Illinois drivers with disabilities or health problems. An individual's eligibility is determined by the Illinois Driver's License Medical Advisory Board, under Vehicle Code 625-6: 903. Drivers who knowingly ignore health conditions that could endanger other motorists may be held responsible for injuring or killing others in an auto accident.

A Sycamore defendant with seizure history is on trial in Sycamore. The 49-year-old woman is accused of speeding through a red light and crashing into another car, killing the young couple inside. Prosecutors called a medical expert to testify who said the woman never should have been behind the wheel.

Charges against the woman include aggravated reckless driving and reckless homicide. An earlier charge of drugged driving was not included at the bench trial, but it was in February 2013, when the Daily Chronicle reported what was found in the defendant's blood sample. Test results showed the presence of a half dozen prescription drugs, including a sedative and two anti-anxiety medications.

The car accident took place in February 2011. Police said the defendant's vehicle was traveling at approximately 78-mph in a 45-mph zone, when it reached the intersection and struck the other car. The victims who died in the collision were both 21.

A doctor testifying at the bench trial on the prosecution's behalf said he treated the defendant in 2007 for a seizure. The Kishwaukee Hospital physician prescribed an anti-seizure drug, told the patient she shouldn't drive and referred the defendant to neurologists. It's unclear from reports whether the woman sought further help or followed the doctor's advice.

Some people may believe driving under the influence charges only apply to drivers who use illegal drugs. In fact, any drug used incorrectly has the potential to impair driving and cause accidents that injure innocent victims. Drivers are accountable for negligent actions, sometimes in both criminal and civil courts.

Source: Daily Chronicle, "Expert: Schmidt was speeding; trial in fatal crash continues today" Andrea Azzo, Mar. 04, 2014

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