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85-year-old Huntley man gets probation for DUI crash that left 1 dead

Donald F. Helfer, 85, of Huntley

An 85-year-old Huntley man was sentenced to two years of probation after he was driving drunk and crashed into a home, killing a 75-year-old woman in February.

Donald F. Helfer, 85, of Huntley was sentenced on Thursday to two years of probation after prosecutors said he was driving drunk on February 4 when he crashed into John and Mary Ann Arneson’s house in the 13300 block of Honeysuckle Drive in Huntley, the Northwest Herald reported. Helfer’s blood-alcohol content was 0.08 percent, his attorney said in court.

Authorities said that 75-year-old Mary Ann Arneson died at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge on April 9 as a result of her injuries from the crash. She was in her bedroom when Helfer crashed into the house.

McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather said in court that her decision to give Helfer probation was because of his age and the fact that he had no criminal history, the Herald reported.

Helfer was originally charged with four counts of aggravated driving under the influence but entered into the plea deal on November 3.

The Herald also reported that Helfer suffers from heart complications, high blood pressure, vision problems and memory loss.

Michele Kohout, Mary Ann Arneson’s daughter, said in court on Thursday that her mother was sitting in her reclining chair in her bedroom, calling it, “the safest place she could be in the world”, when the crash happened, the Northwest Herald reported.

Lake & McHenry County Scanner Staff
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Lake & McHenry County Scanner Staff

Lake and McHenry County Scanner is a local breaking news website covering issues that matter such as shootings, stabbings, house fires, kidnappings, car accidents, and more around Lake County and McHenry County Illinois. Lake and McHenry County Scanner has over 120,000 social media followers and receives hundreds of thousands of website visitors each month.
Lake & McHenry County Scanner Staff
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