Motorcyclist hit by alleged drunk driver
CHAMPAIGN - An off-duty Champaign firefighter was seriously injured Wednesday night after being hit by an alleged drunk driver.
Champaign County sheriff's Sgt. Dave Sherrick said Jeffrey Ballew, 53, who listed an address in the 2300 block of Butternut Court, Champaign, was westbound on the Monticello Road just before 10 p.m. when he collided with a truck that pulled out in front of him.
The driver of the truck, Garrett Paquin, 33, of the 1500 block of Banyan Drive, Rantoul, was headed south on Staley Road, stopped at the stop sign for Monticello Road, then pulled out in front of Ballew's cycle.
The motorcycle hit the front driver's fender of the pickup truck, Sherrick said.
Ballew was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital where he was listed in critical condition Thursday morning.
Sherrick said Paquin was also taken to Carle, where he would have had to give a blood sample since the collision involved serious injury. He was later taken to the county jail where he posted bond and was released just before 1 a.m. Thursday. He was told to appear in court Oct. 25.
Sherrick said a portable breath test on Paquin revealed his blood-alcohol concentration was over 0.08 percent and that Paquin admitted he had been drinking prior to the collision.
Sherrick said based on the information he had, he was not certain if Paquin was injured. He had a passenger with him, Nathaniel Dowell, 17, of Champaign, who was not hurt, Sherrick said.