Aurora man sentenced to 7 years in fatal DUI crash

Updated 1/11/2019 3:50 PM
  • Michael Vera

    Michael Vera

A 36-year-old Aurora man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in a single-vehicle fatal DUI crash in Naperville in 2016.

Michael Vera, of the 200 block of West New York Street, pleaded guilty Friday in DuPage County Court to aggravated driving under the influence in the November 2016 crash that killed David R. Dokken, also of Aurora. Vera had been held on $1 million bail.

Judge Jeffrey MacKay handed down the sentence.

Naperville police responded to the crash at 2:36 a.m. Nov. 23, 2016, in the area of Naper Boulevard south of Ogden Avenue.

Police said the initial investigation revealed the vehicle involved in the crash, a green 1997 Ford Explorer, left the road and struck a tree. Vera and Dokken were taken to Edward Hospital. Dokken, the owner of the vehicle, later died at the Naperville hospital.

"This very sad case is yet another example of the potentially fatal dangers of drinking and driving," DuPage State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in a written statement. "Just days before Thanksgiving two years ago, Michael Vera's life changed forever and David Dokken's life ended when Vera made the decision to drink and then get behind the wheel of his car. That decision not only cost David his life, but it also cost the defendant his freedom. Drunken driving accidents are not accidents, they are 100 percent avoidable."

Vera must serve 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

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