Man sentenced to 8 years for Oak Brook crash
Updated: February 25, 2013 2:20AM
WHEATON — A Cicero man was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for his role in a traffic crash in November 2011.
Jose Rodriguez had pleaded guilty Sept. 19 to three counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol stemming from the crash that severely injured a woman and two young girls.
The crash occurred about 8:45 p.m. Nov. 12, 2011 at York Road and Robin Hood Ranch. Rodriguez and the occupants of another car, Margaret Bennett, her 6-year-old daughter, Patricia, and her daughter’s 6-year-old friend, Emily Walsh of Burr Ridge, all were extricated from their vehicles and transported to local hospitals. Bennett and the two girls were severely injured as a result of the crash.
An investigation revealed that while traveling north on York Road, Rodriguez swerved his vehicle into the southbound lanes of York Road and crashed head on into Bennett’s vehicle. The investigation also revealed that Rodriguez’s blood-alcohol content was at least 0.14 percent at the time of the crash.
“There is absolutely no reason that Mr. Rodriguez should have been behind the wheel of a car that night,” said DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. “Unfortunately, a mother and two young girls will forever carry the scars and horrible memories of what Mr. Rodriguez did to them.”
A civil lawsuit was filed in March on behalf of Bennett and the other victims. The three were returning from a performance of “The Sound of Music” at the Drury Lane Theater. The lawsuit seeks in excess of $50,000.
The lawsuit claimed Walsh, now 7, suffered a fractured skull, brain hemorrhaging and a ruptured spleen. Patricia Bennett, also now 7, suffered a broken clavicle and scarring while her mother suffered numerous injuries to her right leg.