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Underage limo driver gets probation for fatal I-90 crash

Sun-Times file photo

The underage limo driver involved in a crash that left one passenger dead and five others injured last year on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway near Hoffman Estates won’t serve any jail time.

Aaron T. Nash, 21, pleaded guilty Thursday to one felony count of violation of motor carrier safety law by a driver in exchange for two years’ probation, according to the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.

About 7:15 a.m. March 25, 2016, Nash was the driver of a 1998 Lincoln limousine on I-90 when it collided with a crash attenuator between milepost 55 and 56, and flipped onto its roof, prosecutors said. Nash was not lawfully licensed to drive the limo because he was not yet 21.

Nash told investigators he was momentarily blinded by the sun, according to Illinois State Police.

“The driver was unable to see the traffic lane pattern and struck the end of the jay wall, which caused the limousine to roll over,” a statement from ISP said.

Firefighters and paramedics arrived to find the limo on its roof with two people inside, and five who had already gotten out walking around, according to a statement from the Elgin Fire Department. An off-duty Streamwood paramedic who was driving in the area provided medical care to the injured.

One passenger, 53-year-old Terri E. Schmidt of Monona, Wisconsin, was killed, authorities said.

The other five passengers, all from Wisconsin, included a 59-year-old woman from Monona; a 61-year-old woman from Verona; and a 64-year-old man from Verona; and two men, ages 53 and 45, from Fitchburg, were also injured, authorities said at the time. 

Nash, of Janesville, Wisconsin, initially turned himself in to police and was free on a $1,500 bond, prosecutors said. He had faced up to three years in prison.