Defense: Victim in fatal 2017 Naperville crash at fault, not driver who had taken stimulant

Updated 8/12/2020 1:22 PM

The Sept. 9, 2017, crash that killed motorcyclist Calabria Taber was a tragedy, defense attorney Adam Harris said Wednesday.

But, he told a DuPage County court, "it is a tragedy of Cali Taber's own making, due to her speeding up to drive through a yellow light."


Harris is defending Samuel Horvath, a 20-year-old Naperville man accused of causing the crash. Horvath is charged with aggravated driving with a drug, substance or intoxicating substance in his breath, blood or urine, according to the indictment documents -- specifically, methamphetamine and amphetamine.

"Choices. The choices that the defendant made on Sept. 9, 2017, that brought us here today," Assistant State's Attorney Nick Catizone said during opening arguments Wednesday. He said Horvath, driving an SUV, was trying to make a left turn on the yellow light.

Harris acknowledged that Horvath tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine after the crash. But, he said, it was because Horvath had taken a prescription Concerta pill about 12 hours earlier, to improve his ability to take an ACT college-entrance examination that morning.

The medication was not prescribed to Horvath; a friend gave it to him, Harris said. Horvath took the Concerta because he was recovering from a mononucleosis infection and was tired, Harris said.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Concerta is prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

He also argued that Horvath was not impaired by the drugs at the time of the crash.

The crash happened at 75th Street and Naperville/Plainfield Road shortly after 6 p.m.

Taber, 21, of Maple Park, was wearing a helmet.

Harris said she was riding a sport bike, and had only been licensed to ride for two months.

Horvath was not injured. He was originally charged with misdemeanor failure to yield while turning left, but that charge was dropped due to the felony case being filed.

The trial continues Wednesday afternoon.

The prosecution is expected to show video of the crash, captured on security cameras of nearby gasoline stations.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.