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Man gets 15 years for fatal Zion hit-and-run

Dennis Russell was driving a Chrysler Sebring convertible that struck two bicyclists Oct. 21, 2017, on Green Bay Road south of 9th Street in Zion, authorities said.

Dennis Russell
Dennis Russell
Lake County sheriff’s office

A Wisconsin man was sentenced to 15 years in prison this week for leaving the scene of a fatal 2017 crash in north suburban Zion.

Lake County Judge George Strickland sentenced 35-year-old Dennis C. Russell Jr. to the prison term followed by two years of supervised release during a hearing Wednesday, according to the Lake County state’s attorney’s office.

A jury found Russell guilty in June on two felony counts of leaving the scene of the Oct. 21, 2017, accident, prosecutors said.

Russell was driving a Chrysler Sebring convertible that struck two bicyclists about 12:50 a.m. on Green Bay Road south of 9th Street, near the Stonebridge development, according to prosecutors and Zion police.

One of the men, 19-year-old Randall Harrison of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, was killed, according to police and the Lake County coroner’s office.

The other man was injured but managed to make it to a home in the Stonebridge development and ask for help, police said. He was taken to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan, where he was treated and released.

After the crash, Russell drove to a bar in Zion and parked his convertible behind a truck for about two minutes before putting the car’s top up and driving away, prosecutors said. He then drove to a cornfield near the Big Oaks Golf Course in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, where he took off the car’s license plates and removed all of his belongings from it.

Investigators recovered the car about five days later and used the vehicle identification number to track it back to Russell, who lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin, prosecutors said. Russell’s DNA was found on the steering wheel and DNA found on the hood matched Harrison.

Russell will be required to serve at least half of his sentence before he’s eligible for parole, the state’s attorney’s office said. He will receive credit for 513 days he spent in custody at the Lake County Jail.

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