July 14, 2009
JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a 27-year-old man was sentenced on Tuesday to seven years in prison for driving while drunk and causing a wreck that killed a 10-year-old girl and seriously injured her 15-year-old brother.
Thomas Fisher, of Bridgeview, pleaded guilty in May to two counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol in connection with the fatal collision in 2006.
Prosecutors asked the court to hand down a 12-year prison sentence on Tuesday. The maximum sentence under Illinois law for this crime is 14 years. Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak sentenced Fisher to seven years.
The collision occurred at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 12, 2006 at the corner of Laraway and Cedar Roads in New Lenox.
Viridiana Lopez, 10, and her brother, Eduardo Lopez, 15, of Morris, were in a van with family members and were on their way to a Sunday afternoon soccer game. Fisher was speeding at 67 mph when he struck the family’s van, which was stopped at an intersection.
Fisher’s blood-alcohol level tested at .17 at the time of the wreck, more than twice the legal limit of .08.
“Thomas Fisher’s callous decision to drink and drive claimed the life of an innocent little girl whose entire life was ahead of her,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “He will spend the next seven years reflecting on the young life he stole and the pain and suffering he inflicted on the girl’s family.”
Assistant State’s Attorneys Michael Fitzgerald and Deborah Mills prosecuted the case against Fisher.
Charles B. Pelkie
(815) 530-7110 (cellular)
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