$1,000 fine for driver in girlfriend's death

$1,000 fine for driver in girlfriend's death


URBANA — A Pennsylvania man has been convicted of speeding in connection with an accident this past winter that killed his girlfriend.

Champaign County Judge Brian McPheters on Friday found Alexander Morton, 20, of Harrisburg, Pa., guilty of driving too fast for conditions in connection with a Feb. 1 crash at the Interstate 57/74 interchange north of Champaign.

Mikela K. Washburn, 18, of Paris, Ill., died from injuries she received in the accident that happened just before noon that Saturday.

Illinois State Police said just before Morton was driving his Dodge Stratus west on I-74 and was entering the northbound ramp to 57 when he lost control on ice and his car hit a utility pole.

Ms. Washburn was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana early on Feb. 2. Morton was also injured and hospitalized for four days, according to his attorney, Scott Lerner of Champaign.

Assistant State’s Attorney Jacob Croegaert and Lerner of Champaign agreed to the facts and presented them to McPheters for him to render a verdict.

McPheters imposed the maximum fine of $1,000 for the petty offense.

Ms. Washburn’s mother, Sheryl Cash of Marshall, told the judge she understood that the crash was the result of an accident. Morton told McPheters he loved Washburn, thinks about her daily, and wishes that the accident had never happened.



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