Former youth center guard pleads guilty to fatal DUI crash

By on October 2, 2010

Kane County—A former state corrections officer pleaded guilty Sept. 23 for his role in a 2008 fatal two-vehicle crash that occurred while he was on his way to work.

Reginald Hearon, 50, of the 3500 block of Boyer Lane, Plano, Ill., pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated DUI, a Class 2 felony, and one count of reckless homicide, a Class 3 felony.

Associate Judge T. Jordan Gallagher set Hearon’s next court appearance for Oct. 8 in Courtroom 305 for status, and Hearon’s sentencing date for Nov. 17 in Courtroom 305. Hearon faces a sentence of probation or between three and 14 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

At about 5:30 a.m. Oct. 2, 2008, Hearon was driving a 1997 Ford Econoline van east on Fabyan Parkway in Blackberry Township when he attempted to pass vehicles in a posted no-passing zone, a two-lane stretch between Hughes Road and Main Street. Hearon’s eastbound van entered the lane for westbound traffic and struck head-on a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer driven by 53-year-old Craig Smith of St. Charles. The Blazer was westbound on Fabyan Parkway. Smith died at the scene. 

A subsequent blood test revealed that Hearon’s blood-alcohol concentration was 0.069, as well as the presence of codeine and morphine. A reconstruction of the crash determined that Hearon’s van was traveling at least 55 mph in a 45-mph zone at the time the van’s brakes were depressed. The van skidded 92 feet before it struck Smith’s Trailblazer.

The guilty plea was based on the charge that Hearon was under the influence of alcohol, having consumed any amount of alcohol prior to driving a motor vehicle.

At the time of the crash, Hearon worked as a guard at the Illinois Youth Center at St. Charles. Hearon no longer works for the IYC facility.

Hearon remains free on $7,000 bond.