MOUNT PLEASANT — A 58-year-old Skokie, Illinois man, who tested positive for an alcohol level more than three times higher than the legal limit, faces two felony charges for his role in a drunk driving crash on Dec. 14.
James A. Yagelski is charged with a felony count of operating while intoxicated causing injury, second and subsequent offense, and felony hit-and-run causing injury. If convicted of both charges, he faces a maximum possible fine of $20,000 and six years, nine months in prison.
Yagelski, who is free from custody on a $25,000 cash bond, is due back in Racine County Circuit Court on Wednesday, for an 8:30 a.m. preliminary hearing.
The criminal complaint: felony hit-and-run drunk driving crash causing injury
An officer with the Mount Pleasant Police Department was dispatched on Dec. 14 at about 6:41 p.m. to the intersection of Chicory Road and Highway 32 for a report of an accident.
The officer spoke with a man, who stated he was northbound on Highway 32 when his vehicle was rear-ended by another vehicle. The man stated the driver, later identified as Yagelski, got out of his vehicle, inspected the damage to both vehicles and left the scene without providing any identifying information.
An occupant of the victim’s vehicle suffered neck and head injuries and was treated at the scene, the complaint states.
While on the scene, the officer was told by dispatch that Yagelski’s vehicle was found with heavy front-end damage and complete airbag deployment at a nearby gas station. Another person saw the defendant enter the gas station, where police found him.
Yagelski stated he was in an accident and left the scene because he didn’t want to keep his vehicle in the middle of traffic. The officer observed that Yagelski had glossy eyes, an odor of intoxicants, had trouble standing straight and was stumbling.
After the defendant failed a series of field sobriety tests, a preliminary breath test showed a blood alcohol content of 0.251. Court records show that he was previously convicted of his first drunk driving offense in Illinois in 2019.
The results of a legal blood draw were not included in the criminal complaint.
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