A Johnsburg man whose blood alcohol content was nearly four times the legal limit during a 2018 drunken driving crash will serve jail time and probation for seriously injuring a Florida woman in the wreck.
Guy Stedman Jr., 49, was sentenced Thursday to six months in jail and two years of probation on a felony charge of aggravated driving under the influence. While handing down the sentence, McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt said he believes Stedman’s outreach within Alcoholics Anonymous could help prevent future DUI crashes.
“Mr. Stedman is going to live with this knowledge that he has maimed another person,” Wilbrandt said.
Stedman also must serve 200 hours of community service and pay a $2,000 fine. Of that, $1,000 will be donated to the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.
Elizabeth Meyer was approaching the end of her commute from work March 26, 2018, when an oncoming vehicle entered her lane. The collision happened about 10 p.m. on Route 12 west of South Solon Road near Richmond when Stedman’s 2014 Ford Focus struck Myers’ 2008 Honda Civil EX-L.
“It was coming right at me,” Meyer said Thursday. “There was nowhere for me to go. There were rails on both sides [of the road].”
Meyer drifted in and out of consciousness as she turned off the Fleetwood Mac song that still was playing on the radio and called her husband.
“I wanted to tell him I love him and goodbye,” Meyer said.
At Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Stedman took responsibility for the crash, which left Meyer with two broken knee caps, a broken femur, fractured ankle and broken vertebrae, among other injuries.
“I’m so sorry,” Stedman said. “I’m sorry every moment of every day.”
Stedman’s blood alcohol content was 0.314% after the crash when he was tested, McHenry County Sheriff’s detective Nicolas Alejo testified Thursday. Friends and members of Stedman’s Alcoholics Anonymous group told the judge that Stedman is committed to his recovery and feels “a deep sense of remorse” for the crash.
Stedman, of the 1800 block of Indian Ridge Drive, entered blind guilty pleas in September to two counts of aggravated driving under the influence. Witnesses told police they stopped Stedman when he tried to leave the scene.
Earlier that day, Stedman had a court appearance scheduled in Walworth County, Wisconsin, for a separate hit and run, prosecutors said.
Both Stedman and Meyer were taken to Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital. While he was being treated, Stedman told hospital staff he had three alcoholic drinks that day, Alejo testified Thursday.
Meanwhile, Meyer was in “unbearable” pain as doctors severed part of her femur and treated the multiple breaks and fractures she suffered in the crash. Meyer, who used a cane as she walked Thursday, has since moved to Florida and flew to Illinois for the sentencing. She still is in recovery and likely will require future surgeries, she said.
“This is not how I envisioned spending the rest of my life,” Meyer said.