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posted: 2/2/2010 12:01 AM

Cops: Drunken driver injures St. Charles pedestrian

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  • Donald E. Rericka

    Donald E. Rericka


A suspected drunken driver crashed into a tree in downtown St. Charles early Sunday, injuring a woman who was walking in a group on the sidewalk, police said Monday.

Donald E. Rericka, 47, of the 29W200 block of Helen Avenue, West Chicago, was charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, cannabis possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police said Rericka was turning left onto West Main Street from southbound North Second about 2 a.m. when his Chevrolet Silverado went off the road and struck a tree and garbage can on the sidewalk.

The tree "snapped off" at the base and fell into a crowd on the sidewalk, causing a 48-year-old Geneva woman to hit her head on a building. The victim was treated at the scene and then taken to Delnor Hospital in Geneva for further evaluation.

The garbage was thrust through a window at 113 W. Main St while Rericka's truck hit a second tree before coming to rest, police said. He was charged at the scene with aggravated driving under the influence, a Class 4 felony punishable by up to three years in prison or probation.

The misdemeanor drug offenses were added after a small amount of marijuana and paraphernalia were found in Rericka's vehicle, said St. Charles police spokesman Paul McCurtain.

Police said Rericka was taken to the Kane County jail Sunday, but he was no longer in custody there as of Monday afternoon. His next court date is Feb. 9, according to court records.