A woman who fled on foot after crashing her car into a parked SUV in Lincoln Park, severely injuring her 79-year-old back-seat passenger, was sentenced Tuesday to four years in state prison.
Deneen Elizabeth Grear, 53, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to hit-and-run in connection with the May 27 crash.
Deputy District Attorney Genaro Ramirez said the victim, Robert Autman, suffered an “internal decapitation” when he was thrown forward into the front passenger seat.
Autman’s son said his father is alive but in a vegetative state in a local hospital.
“My father was my best friend,” he told Judge Polly Shamoon. “I can’t talk to him. Everything is gone. Right now our life is in shambles.”
Raz Autman said that every time his phone rings at night, he thinks it’s the hospital telling him his father has died.
Through her attorney, Grear said she panicked when she hit the parked car and was very remorseful that Autman was so badly hurt. A front seat passenger was treated for minor injuries.
The prosecutor told the judge that Grear has been incarcerated 29 times since 2009 for various crimes and has an abysmal record on probation.
Ramirez told the judge that the defendant’s ex-husband told police Grear was “high as a kite” when she came home following the 5 a.m. crash. She was arrested five days later.
“I have no doubt you are remorseful,” the judge told the defendant. “(But) You’re the one who did this. You left to save yourself.”
Shamoon said the defendant had used crack cocaine two days before the crash.
— City News Service
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