Crime & Courts

Drugs, alcohol involved in fatal car vs. go-kart crash, prosecutors say

Blood test results show that drugs and alcohol were involved in a September hit-and-run crash that killed an Elgin woman who was driving a go-kart near Marengo, prosecutors said.

Brett Herold was free on bond Monday when he arrived at the McHenry County Courthouse. He returned to the McHenry County Jail shortly after, however, and remained in custody Monday evening.

McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather granted prosecutors’ request Monday to increase Herold’s bond. The request came after the state filed additional charges accusing the 27-year-old of having drugs and alcohol in his system when he crashed his 2011 Toyota Camry into the back of 29-year-old Yajayra Huerta’s go-kart, killing her.

Herold, of Marengo, originally was charged Sept. 22 with leaving the scene of a wreck involving the death of another person. His bond was set at $15,000, and he was released later that day after posting $1,500, Assistant State’s Attorney Randi Freese wrote in a Feb. 6 motion to increase Herold’s bond.

Prosecutors filed aggravated driving under the influence charges after reviewing the blood test results from a sample that police had collected that day, Freese wrote. Herold’s blood-alcohol content was 0.146 percent, according to the prosecutors’ motion. He also tested positive for THC metabolites, the anesthetic ketamine and the narcotic pain reliever tramadol, Freese wrote.

Herold’s defense attorney, Edward Donahue, could not be reached for comment Monday.

The crash happened at 10:20 p.m. Sept. 22 in the 22200 block of River Road in Marengo. Authorities took Huerta to Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 11:04 p.m., according to a McHenry County Coroner’s Office news release. Police have said that Herold fled the scene after the crash, and officers arrested him shortly after.

An autopsy revealed that Huerta died from blunt trauma to the brain, spine, chest and abdomen.

If Herold were to be convicted of aggravated driving under the influence, he could be sentenced to between three and 14 years in prison. Because he now faces more serious charges, Herold will remain in jail until posting $6,000.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 19.

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