Prison Sentence For 2009 Illinois Fatal Motorcycle Accident That Killed Two People

A February 8 story in The Beacon-News titled “Seven years for driver who killed two motorcyclists” tells of the criminal sentencing and civil lawsuit of a woman involved in a 2009 fatal motorcycle accident that killed Wade and Denise Thomas near Route 47 and Smith Road south of Elburn, Illinois.

The woman, Alia Bernard, now 27, was sentenced to seven years in prison.

A couple of excerpts from the story:

Bernard pleaded guilty in December to two counts of aggravated driving under the influence. She must serve 85 percent, or nearly six years, of the sentence. Bernard could have received probation if Anderson found extraordinary circumstances to spare her prison. In the end, Anderson said probation would diminish the seriousness of Bernard’s actions.


Bernard was indicted on the felony charges because she was found to have a small amount of marijuana in her system at the time of the crash, although prosecutors acknowledged she was not high when it occurred. Bernard’s attorney, Bruce Brandwein, pushed strongly for probation because of that fact, as well as his client’s lack of criminal history.

The story also includes mention of Bernard’s texting around the time of the accident.

According to the story, there was a settlement of a 2009 lawsuit against Bernard by the Thomas estate that was settled earlier this year.

Additional details and possible updates can be found in a variety of media sources including The Beacon-News story mentioned above as well as the Huffington Post article of February 10 titled “Alia Bernard, Aurora Woman Who Had Pot In Her System, Gets 7 Years In Fatal Crash.”


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