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updated: 9/6/2012 4:11 PM

Fines, community service for crash that damaged 12 headstones

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A 27-year-old Elgin man was sentenced to 250 hours of community service and fined $1,700 for plowing his van into a city-owned cemetery in Batavia last year, causing $20,000 damage to a dozen headstones, including those of the parents and grandfather of Mayor Jeff Schielke.

"It appears it was an accident, but it was an accident that caused substantial damage," Kane County Judge Katherine Moran said Thursday. "Some headstones can never be repaired or restored fully."

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Kane County prosecutors argued for jail time for Kevin A. Malone, of the 1600 block of Mark Avenue, for misdemeanor reckless driving, driving while unlicensed, failure to reduce speed, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle and improper lane use.

According to court records, Malone was northbound on the 900 block of South Batavia Avenue (Route 31) at 6:55 a.m. May 21, 2011, when his 1997 Dodge Ram van crashed into the West Batavia Cemetery.

Moran said she wanted to impose restitution, but that was prohibited for just traffic violations.

She noted that Malone, a father of four, did apologize at a hearing last month in which one woman said it cost her $4,000 to repair a headstone. No one was injured in the crash.

Moran also sentenced Malone to 18 months conditional discharge, and every three months he must go to court and show he proof of insurance for his vehicles.

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