WOODSTOCK – Admitting her sympathy for the families of two teenagers who died last year in a drag racing crash, a McHenry County judge on Friday ordered probation for the man who raced the teens.
Daniel L. Huber, 22, of Woodstock, previously pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated street racing and obstructing justice, all Class 4 felonies. He entered a blind plea in June, meaning there was no agreement between attorneys on a possible sentence.
After listening to heartwrenching statements from the families amid a chorus of sniffles and sobs, McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather said she was heartbroken for the families but still bound by the law.
Huber’s were low-level felonies, and coupled with Huber’s prior criminal history of only ordinance violations and petty traffic citations, it was probational.
“There’s nothing I can do as a judge, or the law can do for you folks that can ease your pain, or help deal with this tragic, tragic loss,” Prather said.
“I can’t take away your pain as a judge, “ she said.
Huber was given three years’ probation. Assistant State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally asked for prison time.
Huber was racing Jacob Norys and Alec Kaiser, both 16, on Davis Road in Woodstock just before the fatal crash.
The vehicle that Norys and Kaiser were in swerved off the roadway, rolled and hit a tree and brick pillar. They both were students at Woodstock High School.
The vehicle uprooted a second tree, which landed partly on the car. They were killed within seconds, authorities have said.
Huber’s more serious charges, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, a Class 1 felony, were dismissed. Authorities have said he did not report the crash and left without rendering aid to the teens or calling 911.
In a statement read through his attorney, Public Defender Rick Behof, Huber apologized.
“I am so very sorry for the role I played in your loss,” he said.
Members of both families faced Huber before he was sentenced and talked about the effect of the boys’ deaths. Norys’ mother, Judy, said there are days when the pain of losing her child is too overwhelming for her to get out of bed.
“There was no one there to sing him into heaven, there was no one there to tell him he was loved beyond measure,” Judy Norys said of her son’s final moments.
After she spoke, Judy Norys lingered for a long embrace with Kaiser’s mother, Tiffany Sevcik, who offered her statement next.
“We just weren’t done with him yet,” Sevcik said. “I never got to say goodbye.”
Huber posted bond shortly after being arrested last August, but was sent back to jail after he received a citation for public consumption of alcohol while out on bond.
Prather also ordered him not to consume any drugs or alcohol and have no unwanted contact with the victim’s families. He also has to pay a $1,000 fine and complete 120 hours of public service.