A Carol Stream man who drove his pickup into a freight train locomotive, killing his girlfriend, pleaded guilty today to aggravated driving under the influence.
In a plea deal with DuPage County prosecutors, Jeffrey S. Fisher, 40, admitted to being under the influence when he hit the train around 2:53 a.m. on July 3, 2011, at the crossing on Rohlwing Road in Itasca.
In return for his plea, prosecutors dropped additional charges and agreed to recommend a prison sentence of no more than 10 years for Fisher. The aggravated DUI charge normally carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.
The train engineer told authorities that Fisher’s truck accelerated as it approached the crossing and that he drove around the crossing gate, Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Fisher said.
The driver’s blood-alcohol level was tested at a hospital and found to be about twice the legal limit, the prosecutor said.
In an interview with police, Fisher admitted to drinking at a bar before the accident and said he should not have been driving, the prosecutor said.
Judge John Kinsella set a February date to receive a pre-sentence investigation report, at which time a sentencing hearing is expected to be scheduled.
Fisher attorney Paul De Luca said he wanted to review that report before deciding on a sentencing recommendation.
“I think there are a lot of mitigating factors,” De Luca said.
Man pleads guilty in death of girlfriend in train-car crash
Photo illustration (Chicago Tribune)