New Athens man sentenced in fatal DUI crash

Kevin Helfrich

BELLEVILLE, Ill. – A New Athens, Illinois man was sentenced to 18 years in state prison Monday for driving under the influence and causing a crash that led to the deaths of two men.

According to the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office, the crash occurred July 8, 2017 on Illinois Route 15 in Belleville.

John Bannister and Daryl Harton were killed when Kevin Helfrich collided with their vehicle head-on. Helfrich was driving the wrong way on Route 15.

Investigators determined Helfrich was driving with a blood alcohol content level at three times the legal limit.

Earlier this year, Helfrich pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless homicide and one count of driving under the influence of alcohol with an accident causing death.

Helfrich must serve at least 85 percent of that sentence before being eligible for parole.

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