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Drunk driver who killed Illinois college student sentenced

An Illinois teen was killed in January 2014, as she was walking along the shoulder of an out-of-state road with two other young women. All three were students at the same college. Two victims, ages 19 and 20, died and a third woman was injured by a hit-and-run driver.

Authorities reported the fatal accident occurred near midnight. Despite the late hour, witnesses were able to provide police with a description of the car and a female driver, who drove away from the scene. The defendant was located at a gas station about seven miles from the pedestrian accident.

The driver, now 64, told police she never saw the women walking along the road. The defendant admitted she struck something but wasn't aware the car hit pedestrians. The driver confessed she had been drinking alcohol and wanted to sleep in her car to sober up, but started to drive after getting cold.

The results of a toxicology test showed a blood alcohol content level of 0.23 percent, a BAC level nearly triple the state limit of 0.08 percent. The driver was arrested and later pleaded guilty to charges of leaving an accident scene and vehicular homicide.

A judge recently sentenced the drunk driver to a state prison term of up to seven years for fleeing the crash scene and seven to 21 years for the homicide charge. The sentences will be served concurrently. The sentencing judge's decision was based partly on several dozen of victim impact statements about the personal losses suffered due to the students' deaths.

While criminal courts punish wrongdoers, civil courts seek to compensate accident victims and surviving family members for the damages caused by negligent and reckless drivers. Wrongful death claims concentrate on losses experienced by spouses, children and parents of fatally injured victims. Settlements and damage awards address damages like wage losses, medical expenses and loss of companionship.

Source: Daily Freeman, "Carol Boeck, driver in crash that killed 2 Bard College students, gets 7-21 years in prison" Patricia Doxsey, Feb. 24, 2015

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