September 28, 2021

Substance detected in driver charged with DUI in hay wagon crash

The substance involved in recently filed driving under the influence charges against the driver of a car that struck a hay wagon ride injuring 11 people in October near Plano remains unidentified in public documents ahead of related court proceedings.

The presence of a substance was indicated in the results of an Illinois State Police DUI Kit administered to Kaitlin Minick, 22, of the 300 block of East Main Street, Yorkville, and formerly of DeKalb, according to Kendall County Sheriff's Office records obtained by Record Newspapers through the Freedom of Information Act. That comes after Minick consented to a driving under the influence blood and urine test, which was administered due to the severity of the accident. Minick did not show any signs of being intoxicated at the crash scene, according to police.

The name of the substance was redacted from those FOIA response documents, citing private information and medical records.

The update comes after Kendall County Sheriff's officials announced new DUI charges against Minick on Friday, Feb. 28, following an investigation that began immediately after the crash that happened at 5:37 p.m. Oct. 12 on River Road between Blackhawk Road and Fox River Drive. According to police, Minick's sedan, which was going west on River Road, struck the hay wagon ride carrying 14 adult passengers from behind. The hay wagon was being towed by a tractor.

According to police, 11 of the passengers were taken to area hospitals for treatment of injuries, ranging from minor to serious. Minick initially was treated and released at the scene, according to police.

Minick was charged with six counts of aggravated driving under the influence, a Class 4 felony, after allegedly driving a motor vehicle "while there is any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in the person's breath, blood, or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of a controlled substance," according to Kendall County court records.

If convicted of one of those DUI charges, Minick could serve up to three years in prison.

Kendall County Sheriff's Dep. Wayne Dial said that type of drug, substance or compound found in someone's system could mean anything from a prescribed medication authorized by a physician, taking more than the permitted amount of the prescribed medication, or an illegal drug. He said what makes the charges aggravated is because of personal injuries happened with something being in the driver's system.

Dial said one reason why the substance or drug name might not be released at this time is because it might be due to upcoming legal proceedings. He said the type of substance or drug would be revealed eventually during a trial, but if jurors knew what the substance was ahead of time, it might create more prejudice within the jury before the trial even begins.

"Now it's a matter of going through the court system," Dial said.

The most recent charges come after Minick was unable to be served a lawsuit filed in November 2019 from a passenger of the tractor-pulled hay wagon struck by Minick's car. The victim, on behalf of his power of attorney, is asking for financial compensation from injuries suffered from the Oct. 12 crash, according to Kendall County court records.

Minick is due back in court for the felony charges 9 a.m. March 18 at the Kendall County Courthouse, 807 W. John St. in Yorkville. That is two days after she is scheduled to appear in court regarding the victim lawsuit.

Minick also will be due back in court 8:30 a.m. April 9 for the previous citations of the failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and operating an uninsured vehicle and causing bodily harm.

Katie Finlon

Katie Finlon

Katie Finlon covers local government and breaking news for DeKalb County in Illinois. She has covered local government news for Shaw Media since 2018 and has had bylines in Daily Chronicle, Kendall County Record newspapers, Northwest Herald and in public radio over the years.