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updated: 5/28/2014 3:00 PM

Plea deal reached in Port Barrington crash that killed a pedestrian

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  • Kevin Gillespie

      Kevin Gillespie

 
 

Saying "cases like this are some of the most tragic we ever have," Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes accepted a plea agreement for an Island Lake man accused of being impaired when he struck and killed a pedestrian laying in the roadway near Port Barrington.

Kevin Gillespie, 22, of the 900 block of Wembley Drive, was sentenced to four years in Illinois Department of Corrections on Wednesday after pleading guilty to one count of leaving the scene of an accident involving death for killing Tracy Meger-Berry, 46, on Sept. 22, 2013.

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He has to serve at least two years of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

Gillespie also pleaded guilty to aggravated driving under the influence of drugs, but that charge was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor as part of the plea negotiation.

Remaining counts of aggravated DUI and failure to report an accident were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

"This is another example of senselessness in our community," Shanes said in accepting the plea agreement. "Had you stayed there, rendered aid and called the police, this would have been very different for you."

Gillespie was facing a maximum of 29 years in prison had he been found guilty at trial of killing Meger-Berry, of Port Barrington.

Authorities said Lake County Sheriff deputies were called to Lamphere Road near Port Barrington at 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 22, and found Meger-Berry in the roadway after she was hit by a car.

An autopsy showed Meger-Berry, who lived about a mile from the crash site, had a blood alcohol content of .276 percent, authorities said, and crash investigators believe she was laying in the road when she was run over by Gillespie's vehicle.

A piece of the bumper recovered at the scene was traced to Gillespie's vehicle, which was found a few hours later at his home.

During questioning, Gillespie admitted to hitting Meger-Berry and leaving the scene, authorities said. He also admitted he consumed marijuana before the crash, authorities said.

Assistant State's Attorney Lauren Kalcheim-Rothenberg said in court that Gillespie did stop after the crash, but then left the scene.

"I miss her so much," Kalcheim-Rothenberg read from a statement supplied by the victim's mother, Karen Meger. "I never thought she would leave us."

Shanes told Gillespie he accepted the plea deal because "you accepted responsibility for what you did."

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