KANKAKEE — A Bourbonnais man was sentenced to 300 days in Kankakee County jail on Nov. 26 after he agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor traffic violations from a July 2018 two-car fatal crash.
Austin P. O’Connor was charged with driving with no valid driver’s license and driving a vehicle with no insurance involved in an accident causing harm.
The 20-year-old will receive a day of credit for each day he serves, per state sentencing guidelines. He was fined $100. The maximum sentence is 364 days and up to a $1,000 fine.
According to investigators, O’Connor was northbound on Career Center Road when his vehicle crossed over the center line and crashed head-on into a southbound vehicle driven by Jo Ann “Jodi” Tvrz, 67, of Bourbonnais, at 5:01 a.m. July 24, 2018.
O’Connor told investigators Tvrz’s vehicle had crossed into the northbound lane before returning to the southbound lane. O’Connor said he swerved to avoid a crash.
Tvrz was alert at the scene and told a witness O’Connor had crossed the center line, striking her head-on. Tvrz had to be extricated from her car and was transported to the hospital with an arm injury. She died later that evening as a result of internal injuries.
When charges were filed last year, Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe said to file felony charges would require the offending driver to have been impaired, “and there is simply no evidence of that here,” he said.
Bourbonnais Deputy Police Chief Anderson said officers didn’t smell the odor of alcohol on O’Connor’s breath. Neither officers nor hospital personnel ordered blood and urine samples from either driver.