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Palos Park Man Pleads Guilty in Crash that Killed Minooka Motorcyclist

Andrew Henderson of Palos Park had drugs including heroin in his system at the time of a crash that killed Ron Oswald and injured a family of four in Plainfield.

Andrew Henderson. | File Photo.
Andrew Henderson. | File Photo.
A driver pleaded guilty to having heroin and Vicodin in his system when he caused a crash that killed a motorcyclist two years ago in Plainfield.

Andrew Henderson, 26, of Palos Park, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated DUI in the 2012 crash that killed 57-year-old Ron Oswald of Minooka. 

In exchange for Henderson's guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop other DUI and traffic charges, and said they will not ask for a prison sentence of more than nine years. 

At about 2:30 p.m. on July 14, 2012, police said Henderson's Dodge Durango SUV rear-ended a Nissan Altima at the intersection of Route 126 and County Line Road, pushing the car into the path of Oswald's motorcycle.

Oswald, a Warriors Watch rider who was on his way to Romeoville to do a send-off for a local serviceman, was thrown from his Harley-Davidson and pronounced dead at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora. Though not a veteran, Oswald was known for his support of local servicemen and women and his efforts to educate the public on motorcycle safety. He was also a member of the Patriot Guard Riders and Will County ABATE (A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education).

Four people in the Nissan — a mother, father, infant and toddler — had to be extricated from the vehicle. The woman suffered serious injuries including a fractured hip, four broken ribs and injury to her foot, police said.

Henderson told police he had dropped a milk bottle, which his attorney said was found lodged under the brake pedal of his vehicle, when the crash occurred. Following the crash, he was taken to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, where tests showed drugs in his system including morphine, codeine and heroin.

Henderson, who initially pleaded not guilty before taking the deal this week, is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 4.

—By Shannon Antinori

Read:
jmj1959 May 17, 2014 at 05:53 PM
Only nine years for taking a life and seriously injuring a young mother.
Bob Laird May 17, 2014 at 06:15 PM
good man gone. druggie out eventually to do it again. what a country.

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