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Crime & Courts

Sycamore man accused of DUI in fatal Kane County crash

Benjamin J. Black
Benjamin J. Black

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A 28-year-old Sycamore man accused of driving under the influence at the time of a fatal crash in west-central Kane County is due in court Thursday morning.

Benjamin J. Black, of the 1500 block of Sparkhayes Drive, has been charged with three counts of aggravated DUI, one of which is a Class 2 felony and two of which are Class 4 felonies; one count of driving without insurance; and one count of failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

If convicted of the most serious offense, Black faces probation or between three and 14 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and a fine of up to $25,000, according to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.

On Feb. 27, the 1999 Ford Expedition he was driving on Route 64 plowed into the rear of another car west of Peplow Road, killing an 11-year-old Sycamore boy, severely injuring a second person and causing a chain reaction crash, Kane County authorities have said.

A laboratory analysis found that heroin metabolites were present in Black’s urine, which was taken immediately after the crash, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office.

State’s Attorney Joe McMahon acknowledged the similarities between this case and that of Alia Bernard, the Aurora woman who pleaded guilty in a 2009 crash that killed a St. Charles couple. Toxicology tests showed she had marijuana in her system at the time of the crash.

“Charges in this case are similar to the Alia Bernard case,” McMahon said.

Bernard has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Black appeared in Kane County bond court Tuesday morning. Associate Judge William Parkhurst set his bail at $250,000 with 10 percent – or $25,000 – to apply for bond, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office.

Black is expected to appear in Circuit Judge James C. Hallock’s courtroom at 9 a.m. Thursday.

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