Woman faces felony DUI charges in fatal crash

URBANA — A 24-year-old Philo woman has been charged with felony driving under the influence in connection with a crash last month that killed her cousin.

Champaign County Judge Richard Klaus on Friday set bond at $250,000 for Katheryn J. Daly, after arraigning her on two counts of aggravated DUI alleging that she had a blood alcohol content of 0.13 percent when she was driving the John Deere Gator that tipped over, critically injuring Annie Daly, 19, of Philo, on Oct. 6.

The crash happened about 3 a.m. on County Road 1700 E as Katheryn Daly was about to turn onto 600 N about 2 miles south of Philo and skidded over wet gravel.

Assistant State's Attorney Elizabeth Dornik told Klaus that Katheryn Daly was driving the Gator around the perimeter of her family's property at the time. She admitted to Champaign County sheriff's deputies she had consumed four beers and three rum-spiked Jello shots earlier at a birthday party. She told deputies that she had stopped drinking about two hours before the accident.

Dornik said Annie Daly was in the front seat of the all-terrain vehicle and three males were in the back when it tipped on its side.

Daly's attorney, Mark Lipton of Champaign, said his client is a nurse and that she began CPR on her cousin until emergency responders arrived. Annie Daly died at 6:24 a.m. at Carle Foundation Hospital from her injuries.

Dornik said sheriff's deputies reported that Katheryn Daly had bloodshot, watery eyes and smelled of alcohol. She also showed six indicators of impairment on field sobriety tests, Dornik said. When asked by the deputy if she felt impaired, she told him she didn't know and that she was cold.

On the day of her arrest, Daly had posted $100 cash bond and was released. Lipton asked that the previous bond continue, saying Daly has full-time employment and was not likely to violate the terms of her bond.

Klaus declined because of the more serious felony charges having been filed Friday. If convicted of the aggravated DUI, Daly faces penalties ranging from probation to three to 14 years in prison.

Several supporters of Daly were in the courtroom weeping as she was handcuffed and taken into custody. Her family was at the jail with the $25,000 cash needed for her release before she had even been taken there from the courthouse. She was released around noon.

Daly waived her right to a probable cause hearing and Klaus set the case for the Jan. 2 pretrial.

Dornik dismissed the previously filed misdemeanor DUI charge and the traffic ticket for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

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itsme wrote on November 11, 2013 at 4:11 am

Its too late to cry. You deserve every bit of 14 yrs in prison. Learn how to drink with moderation.

ShilohFan wrote on November 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm

I don't think there will be any justice served in prosecuting this young woman. Frankly it sounds a bit heavy-handed.

Local Yocal wrote on November 14, 2013 at 3:11 pm
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You have to ask what motivated the State's Attorney's office to later re-file more serious charges,....? At the request of Annie Daly's family? Because the defendant has been caught drinking and driving again after the incident? Because a third party complained about the initial "lenient" charges?

Why has the state gone midevil on this gainfully-employed, first-time offender? I would imagine Katheryn is grieving enormously already after losing her popular cousin, a life she tried to save and obviously didn't mean to harm during an afternoon of "fun."

Katheryn should know better than us how much she has royally screwed up. Wonder what caused the State's Attorney to pile on?