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Man gets 3 years for DUI in crash that killed girlfriend

Lyman Harvey | Illinois Department of Corrections

A man has been sentenced to three years in prison for driving drunk and crashing into a median on the Dan Ryan Expressway near U.S. Cellular Field last year, killing his 29-year-old girlfriend.

Lyman B. Harvey, 36, pleaded guilty to one felony count of aggravated DUI in an accident causing death before Judge Dennis Porter on July 19, according to Cook County court records. The other charges against him were dropped.

Harvey was driving in the northbound express lanes of I-90/94 at 31st Street when he crashed into a median about 12:30 a.m. Nov. 27, 2015, authorities said at the time.

According to court documents, Harvey told police that what began as an argument between the couple turned into a physical altercation when his girlfriend, 29-year-old Chalan Peterson, took off her seat belt and struck Harvey on the right side of his head.

She then grabbed the steering wheel, causing the vehicle to swerve right. Harvey told police he attempted to regain control, but swerved too hard left and crashed into a median, prosecutors said.

Peterson, of the 300 block of 23rd Avenue in Bellwood, was taken to Stroger Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:55 a.m. that day, authorities said. An autopsy found she died of blunt force trauma to the abdomen as a result of the crash, and ruled her death an accident.

Her 2-year-old son, who was in the backseat, was not seriously injured.

Harvey told police after the crash that he drank a few beers earlier that evening at a Thanksgiving party, prosecutors said. He had a blood alcohol content of .135.

Judge Porter sentenced Harvey to three years in prison, according to court records. He will receive credit for 235 days served in the Cook County Jail, and ordered to serve two years of supervised release.