A Palatine woman pleaded guilty to illegally inhaling substances while driving, leading her to crash head-on into another car and injuring herself and four other people last year.
Karli Casey, 20, pleaded guilty to aggravated driving while under the influence of an intoxicating compound Wednesday in a Rolling Meadows courtroom. Cook County Judge Ellen Mandletort imposed a five-year sentence on Casey, in exchange for her guilty plea to the special class 4 felony which carries a sentence of one to 12 years. She also recommended that Casey continue drug treatment in prison. Casey received credit for 257 days in custody, including 216 days in drug treatment. She must complete 85 percent of her sentence before she is eligible for parole.
Casey admitted inhaling an aerosol cleaning product while driving, causing the April 28, 2012, accident at the corner of First Bank Drive and Northwest Highway in Palatine, said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Mike Gerber.
After crossing several lanes into oncoming traffic, Casey's car crashed into another vehicle. Casey's car overturned, injuring her and two female passengers.
The crash seriously injured the male driver of the other car and his mother, then 84, who suffered a ruptured spleen and multiple fractures that kept her in the hospital for several months. She returned home but requires 24-hour care.
Casey apologized to the victim and her family. As sheriff's deputies led Casey from the courtroom, family and friends exclaimed "we love you."