Aaron Buckley, 22, of Waukegan, (inset) was arrested after crashing into a Lake County sheriff’s squad that was performing traffic control for an investigation at a serious crash scene near Route 60 and Route 41 in Lake Forest in the early morning hours of December 21, 2023. | Provided Photos

A man who drove under the influence and was found with a gun in the car after crashing into a Lake County sheriff’s squad, injuring a deputy in Lake Forest, has been sentenced to probation.

The Lake Forest Police Department and Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team (MCAT) were investigating a serious vehicle crash at Route 41 and Route 60 in Lake Forest, which occurred around 10:35 p.m. on December 20.

The original crash sent two people to the hospital with critical injuries after they were ejected from a car that collided with traffic control devices, Lake Forest Deputy Police Chief Michael Lange said at the time.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Auxiliary Deputy Unit responded to the scene and assisted with traffic control.

While a Lake County Sheriff’s Office auxiliary deputy was inside their squad at one of the traffic control posts set up, a red 2015 GMC SUV crashed into the squad around 1:12 a.m., Lange said.

The GMC, driven by Aaron Buckley, 22, of Waukegan, was traveling southbound on Route 41 at Deerpath Road when it struck the squad.

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Lange said the deputy was injured and transported to Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital for treatment.

The sheriff’s office said luckily the deputy’s injuries were non-life-threatening.

MCAT investigators responded to the secondary crash scene to investigate.

Buckley was determined to be under the influence of alcohol and arrested by officers, Lange said.

Prosecutors said the man admitted to drinking whiskey and taking sleeping pills.

The sheriff’s office called Buckley an “irresponsible and reckless person, who was drunk” and warned motorists not to drink and drive.

Prosecutors said officers also located a 9mm handgun with a loaded magazine in Buckley’s possession.

He is ineligible for a Firearm Owner’s Identification card and told officers the gun belonged to his girlfriend.

Buckley was charged with aggravated driving under the influence, unlawful possession of a firearm, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving an uninsured vehicle and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.

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He was transported to the Lake County Jail and ordered held in jail pending trial after prosecutors filed a petition to detain him.

Court records show Buckley, represented by attorney Robert T. Ritacca, entered into a negotiated plea deal with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office last week.

He pleaded guilty to one count of battery causing bodily harm, a Class A misdemeanor, and entered into a withholding judgment disposition on a driving under the influence charge, also a Class A misdemeanor.

In exchange, prosecutors dismissed the rest of his charges, including the felonies.

Buckley was sentenced to two years of supervision on the driving under the influence charge and two years of probation on the battery charge.

He was sentenced to 48 days in jail, which was considered served due to his credit for being held in custody awaiting trial. He was released from the jail on the same day as his plea.

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Buckley was additionally ordered to not possess or consume illegal drugs or alcohol and to submit to random testing.

He was ordered to pay court costs and fees and to not possess any firearms.