Lake Villa Township teen pleads guilty to leaving scene of fatal accident
A Lake Villa Township teen pleaded guilty Wednesday to leaving the scene of a fatal crash in June.
Abby C. Hansen, 18, of the 37000 block of North Hillside Drive, faces a maximum prison sentence of three years after pleading guilty to felony failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving death. Probation is also possible when Hansen is sentenced May 9 by Judge Victoria Rossetti, officials said.
Hansen previously pleaded not guilty to charges of felony leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Had she been found guilty at trial, she could have been sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in prison.
The charge was reduced Wednesday in exchange for the plea deal, officials said.
"This case involves a double tragedy," defense attorney Jed Stone said. "Any loss of life is a tragedy, but this is also a heartbreaking tragedy for Abby Hansen."
Police were called to West Grass Lake Road and North Sunset Drive in Lake Villa about 9:30 p.m. June 9 for a report of a crash involving an adult pedestrian.
Deputies found 52-year-old Brett M. Beckett critically injured on the north shoulder of Grass Lake Road, authorities said. He was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, where he was later was pronounced dead.
The driver of the vehicle left the scene before deputies arrived, authorities said. After an extensive investigation, a deputy found the 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara at an Antioch body shop with damage consistent with striking a pedestrian, authorities said. The vehicle was seized and taken to a secure evidence storage facility for processing.
During the plea deal approved Wednesday, Rossetti said in court Hansen left work at Gurnee Mills and was heading to a party when she struck Beckett on the side of the road. Rossetti said Becket was wearing all black at the time, had a blood alcohol content of .19 percent, and that police had received phone calls from other drivers concerned about Becket walking on the road.