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McHenry man gets 6 years for DUI pedestrian crash

WOODSTOCK – A McHenry man was sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison for driving drunk, losing control of his car and hitting a mother and her 13-year-old son.

John K. Guenther, 46, pleaded guilty to to aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, a Class 4 felony, as part of the negotiated plea accepted by McHenry County Judge Joseph Condon.

Guenther must serve 85 percent of the sentence; with credit for time already in custody, he has less than four years remaining.

About 9 p.m. June 5, 2011, McHenry police responded to the apartment complex at 4113 Lillian St. after a Nissan driven by Guenther drove off the road, they said.

Guenther struck and knocked over railroad crossing light pole just east of Sioux Lane before continuing across the tracks, hitting and bouncing off a tree an careening into the parking lot where 38-year-old Claudia Pedroca was with her son, Javier Hernandez.

Hernandez was taken to Centegra Hospital – McHenry by ambulance where he was discharged early the following day.

Pedroca also was taken to Centegra, but was later taken by Flight for Life helicopter to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville for head, chest, abdominal and leg injuries, police said.

Guenther was not injured.

Court records show that, in 2002, Guenther was charged DUI but ultimately was sentenced to 45 days in jail for reckless driving. In April, he was convicted of DUI for an arrest in January 2011.

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