Zevez Murrell

Booking photo of Zevez Murrell (Photo from Will County Sheriff's Office / August 11, 2014)

A 68-year-old man mowing a lawn in Will County was struck and killed by a drunk driver Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

Around 12:48 p.m. Sunday, a blue Toyota Camry traveling southbound on U.S. Route 52 near Delaney Road in Manhattan Township swerved into the northbound lane, swiping a Honda Civic, said Illinois State Police District 5 Sgt. Wilfredo Rivera.

The driver of the Camry then swerved back into the southbound lane and drove into a grassy area on the west side of the road, striking Thomas Knepper, 68, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., who was riding a lawn mower on a residential property on the 23000 block of U.S. Route 52, Rivera said.

On impact, Knepper was thrown 40 to 50 feet from the lawn mower, Rivera said. It was unclear how fast the Camry was going at the time, he said.

Knepper was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:25 p.m., according to the Will County Coroner's Office.

The driver, identified by police as Zevez Murrell, 31, of Kankakee, was booked at the Will County Adult Detention Center and charged with reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence, Rivera said. His blood alcohol content was measured at 0.098 percent at the scene, Rivera said; the legal limit is .08.

The driver of the Honda Civic was not injured, Rivera said. Illinois State Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

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