Aurora man sentenced to four years in fatal crash
Naperville resident died after October 2015 crash on I-88
Naperville residents Robert and Patricia Froom had just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary when Robert was killed in a violent two-vehicle crash on westbound I-88 near Downers Grove.
The intoxicated Aurora man who triggered the crash by falling asleep at the wheel was sentenced Monday to four years in prison and likely will serve less if he is accepted into the Illinois Department of Corrections boot camp program.
Ubaldo Torres, 21, of the 2200 block of Mayflower Drive, pleaded guilty last month to aggravated driving under the influence in the October 2015 crash that killed Froom, 71. He was sentenced Monday by DuPage County Judge John Kinsella, who said he would recommend the boot camp program.
Boot camp inmates, by law, serve seven days for every 30 days of the sentence imposed by a judge.
Torres was driving west on Interstate 88 about 5:30 p.m. Oct. 15, 2015, when his Chevy Suburban struck Froom's car from behind. Froom died shortly after the crash, and two passengers in his car, his neighbors Louis and Helen Halkias, were injured.
According to court documents, Torres had an unspecified amount of cannabis in his urine.
In Patricia Froom's victim impact statement, which she read in court, she said her faith has allowed her to forgive Torres.
"Bob was my soulmate and best friend. We did everything together," she said. "He was one of a kind, the rock of our family."
Louis Halkias, who suffered a back injury and biceps injury in the crash, said the initial empathy he felt for Torres "has turned to anger and frustration" over the loss of his friend and neighbor and the alteration his injuries have caused his own lifestyle.
Kinsella admonished Torres, saying he will have to live with Froom's death for the rest of his life. Kinsella said he hopes Torres will ultimately be able to use his predicament as a teaching moment for his own two young children.
"You need to ensure that your children understand that life is not about the pursuit of intoxication," he said. "You owe it to these folks to make sure your children know the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Use the brain God gave you for its intended purpose and not as some sort of playground."
Torres, who was taken into custody immediately following the hearing, faced three to 14 years in prison if he had been convicted on all charges.