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Aurora woman sentenced to 7 years for 2009 fatal crash

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 4:00 p.m. CDT
Linda Knotts

AURORA – An Aurora woman has been sentenced to seven years in prison for her involvement in a fatal car crash in 2009.

Linda L. Knotts, 48, of the 200 block of East Galena Boulevard, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of aggravated driving under the influence, a Class 2 felony. Circuit Judge James Hallock accepted the plea.

Knotts was driving south in a northbound lane on Route 47 on the evening of March 20, 2009. According to a news release, witnesses had called 911 to report a pick-up truck driving erratically at excessive speeds and passing numerous vehicles.

Knotts crashed near Merrill Road when she struck a vehicle head-on driven by William McKenzie, 54, of Marengo. McKenzie was pronounced dead shortly after at a nearby hospital.

Investigators discovered that Knotts had cocaine in her blood at the time of the crash. Traffic reconstruction revealed that Knotts was traveling at 73 mph when she struck McKenzie's vehicle, which was traveling within the 55 mph speed limit.

Illinois law requires Knotts to serve at least 85 percent of her seven-year sentence. She had been given credit for 32 days served in the Kane County Jail. She remains free on $4,000 bond, and Hallock granted Knotts' request to surrender Jan. 30, to begin her sentence, according to the release.

“It remains a priority of this office to aggressively prosecute DUI cases. This crash was clearly preventable, the result of this defendant’s reckless and dangerous driving with cocaine in her blood,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said in the release. “Mr. McKenzie’s death was nothing short of tragic.”

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