ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – An Elgin man agreed to a sentence of 12 years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea in a fatal hit-and-run crash last year, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office announced in a news release.
Kane County Judge Salvatore LoPiccolo accepted the plea Thursday from Lance C. Neal, 28, of the 1-99 block of Clifford Court, Elgin, to charges of failure to report an accident causing death and reckless homicide, both felonies.
The crash killed Sandra Sampey, 52, of Bartlett while she rode a bicycle. A second bicyclist, Sampey’s husband, was also struck and suffered life-threatening injuries, the release stated.
At about 4 p.m. July 28, 2020, Neal was driving a car in the area of East Chicago and North Spring street when he struck a vehicle and fled the scene.
The driver of the vehicle followed Neal and flagged down an officer, who pursued Neal south on Raymond Street and attempted to stop him.
Neal continued to accelerate, moving at about 56 miles an hour in a 30-mile-an-hour zone, until he lost control of the vehicle and struck two bicyclists in the area of Raymond Street and Purify Drive.
Neal abandoned the car and fled on foot. He was taken into custody about two hours later.
In accordance with state law, Neal is eligible for day-for-day sentencing and will receive credit for 353 days served in the Kane County jail.
Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser stated in the release that, “I hope Sandra Sampey’s family and friends believe justice has been served.”
“On July 28, 2020, John Sampey was enjoying a bike ride, with his wife, Sandy. That day ended in tragedy because of the reckless choices made by this defendant, Lance Neal, who was not legally able to drive, struck another car, then chose to flee,” Mosser stated in the release.
“He then struck Sandy Sampey, taking her life, and John Sampey, causing him permanent damage to his leg. His selfish behavior means their two teenage sons lost their mother and had to see their father struggle to live,” Mosser stated in the release.
“My heart goes out to this family that has lived since through unimaginable pain. We hope Mr. Neal takes the time in prison to understand the effects of his choices and that he remembers every day what he has done,” Mosser stated in the release.
Mosser thanked the efforts of the Elgin Police Department’s Traffic Unit, the Kane County Major Crimes Task Force and Assistant State’s Attorney Joe Cullen, who prosecuted Neal.