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An 18 year-old Barrington Hills man is being held on $100,000 bond “following a March 3 crash that killed a 61-year-old Elgin man and seriously injured his fiancée,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Karsten Eilersten is facing charges of aggravated DUI involving death and aggravated DUI involving great bodily harm. These are both Class 4 felonies in Illinois. According to the Illinois State Police Department, in convicted, Eilersten faces a minimum of one-year loss of full driving privileges, a maximum fine of $25,000, and possible imprisonment for up to 12 years. According to the Tribune, Eilersten was forced to surrender his passport, “abstain from drugs and alcohol and submit to random drug tests if he posts bond.”
The accident occurred on Highway 59. Authorities told the Tribune that Eilersten was northbound on the road when he sideswiped a southbound car. After this, Eilersten drove head-on into a car that was being driven by Ronald P. Zioloa. “Ziolo was killed and his 44-year-old fiancée, Mary Matziuw, suffered serious leg injuries,” according to the Tribune. The double charges increase the chance that prosecutors will seek the maximum punishment for Eilersten, despite his age. When police searched the car, they found Lorazepam, which, according to the Tribune, is a “potent prescription sedative.” Eilersten’s blood tested positive for the sedative, though he does not have a prescription. “Police also found a bong and other drug paraphernalia,” reports the Tribune.
According to a recent Fox News report, “while drinking and driving may be on the decline, prescription drug abuse is up.” Unless tragedy strikes, as it did for Eilersten, the abuse of prescription drugs while behind the wheel is much more difficult to detect than alcohol. Some states have begun special training sessions so that traffic officers are able to pick up on the subtle signs of prescription drug abuse on the road.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident such as this, you may be eligible for compensation. Don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago personal injury attorney today.
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