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Article posted: 7/23/2010 12:01 AM

Elburn woman pleads not guilty in fatal crash

By Josh Stockinger

An Elburn woman pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges stemming from a March 2009 crash that killed a McHenry County man.

Linda Knotts, 46, of the 300 block of Dempsey Street, was arraigned in front of Kane County Judge Thomas Mueller on charges including reckless homicide, driving under the influence and unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

Authorities say Knotts had cocaine in her system and possessed less than 15 grams of the drug on March 20, 2009, when her pickup truck swerved into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a van driven by 54-year-old William McKenzie of Marengo.

The crash, which killed McKenzie, happened on Route 47 near Merrill Road in Sugar Grove Township, just moments after sheriff's police ticketed Knotts for passing in a no-passing zone. Other witnesses also had called to complain about Knotts speeding and driving erratically, according to testimony at an inquest last year.

Knotts' attorney, Nisch Raval, said he will ask the judge to reduce her $500,000 bail at her next court appearance on July 29. He declined to comment on the allegations.

"We're still investigating," Raval said.

Authorities have identified Knotts as an Elburn resident, but she has an Aurora address listed in public court records.

If convicted of the most serious offense - possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver - she could be sentenced to three to seven years in prison. Reckless homicide is punishable by two to five years, or probation.

Knotts remained in the county jail Thursday.

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