Westville woman pleads guilty to aggravated DUI in 2017 fatal crash

Westville woman pleads guilty to aggravated DUI in 2017 fatal crash

DANVILLE — A Westville woman who admitted smoking cannabis before a rear-end crash that killed a passenger in her vehicle would have to serve 85 percent of the five-year prison term included in a plea agreement accepted earlier this week by Circuit Judge Nancy Fahey.

Molly Atwood, 37, pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of aggravated driving under the influence involving a fatality, an offense that is not eligible for probation. The plea deal also includes two years of mandatory supervised release. Although the court accepted the plea agreement, Atwood still faces a sentencing hearing Oct. 25.

The fatal accident took place Sept. 19, 2017, at the intersection of Illinois 1 and Southgate Drive in Tilton.

Vermilion County Assistant State’s Attorney Stephanie Weber, who was in court for this week’s plea, said that Atwood’s vehicle rear-ended another at a stoplight that day. A passenger in Atwood’s car, Chad Lanham, 38, of Georgetown, was injured in the collision and died the next day at the hospital.

Weber said police officers who responded to the scene reported that Atwood was confused and had slurred speech. Weber said Atwood gave a urine sample, and it came back positive for traces of cannabis and methamphetamine.

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