Sunday, June 3, 2007


Man gets 11 years in DUI

WOODSTOCK – A Huntley man sentenced to 11 years in prison on Tuesday apologized for killing a 48-year-old motorcyclist last year in a drunken-driving crash.“I’m sorry to the family,” Lorenzo Alvarez, 29, said through a Spanish interpreter. “I just want to apologize for the accident.”Alvarez on Tuesday pleaded guilty to aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison.In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped charges alleging that he fled the scene of the May 21, 2006, accident that killed Jon Fiala, also of Huntley.About 15 of Fiala’s family members watched the court proceedings.“Life [in prison] would have been good, but you got to take what you could get,” Fiala’s ex-wife, Patti Fiala, said of the sentence.Prosecutors said Alvarez had a blood-alcohol content of 0.254 when he was found about three hours after the crash, which is more than three times the legal limit for driving.“[Alvarez] had been drinking at his house, then went to some sort of drinking establishment and had more,” McHenry County State’s Attorney Louis Bianchi said. “I hope it sends a message to the community … that we need to stop losing lives on the highway.”The crash, which happened in the 4600 block of Dean Street in Woodstock, instantly killed Fiala, who was driving a 1980 Harley-Davidson motorcycle. His body was dragged along with the car before he was thrown into a nearby driveway, police said.Alvarez, who was driving a car borrowed from a friend, fled the scene of the crash into a wooded area, prosecutors said.He was found a few hours later after a search assisted by police dogs and a police helicopter.Alvarez, who is not a U.S. citizen, likely will be deported after he completes his prison term, prosecutors said.Since he was charged, Alvarez remained at the McHenry County Jail on $1 million bond. A judge set a high bond to prevent him from fleeing the country while awaiting trial.

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