Terrell Garrett, accused in fatal wrong-way Lake Shore Drive crash, sentenced to 10 years

A suburban police officer learned his fate Friday night for the drunken driving crash that killed two men on Lake Shore Drive last year. (WLS)
April 25, 2014 3:32:11 PM PDT
A suburban police officer learned his fate Friday night for the drunken driving crash that killed two men on Lake Shore Drive last year.

Cell phone video moments before that crash captured off-duty North Chicago officer Terrell Garrett driving the wrong way on Lake Shore Drive.

Friday officer Garrett was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The courtroom was packed with relatives and friends of both victims.

Garrett stood before the court, but mostly he stood up and talked directly to the families of the two men killed.

"Today is the hardest day of my life and it's my own fault," Garrett said in court. "I accept full responsibility. If I could give my life for theirs I would. I'm sorry, but I know that's not good enough."

Ten years for the lives of two college students and as the loved ones and families of the two men killed left the courtroom Friday, 10 years did not seem like enough.

"My son's life was worth more than 10 years," said Cecilia Garcia.

"The judge had between 7 and 31. She didn't even try to go in the middle," said Maria Torres. "Ten years is not enough. It's a letdown. It's a disappointment."

The wrong-way deadly accident happened March 2013. A witness captured Garrett's SUV going northbound on the southbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive.

What the video didn't capture, however, is the aftermath of what happened, the deadly crash.

Joaquin Garcia, a 25-year-old student at Malcolm X, and his friend 27-year-old Fabian Torres, a student at DePaul University, were both killed in that collision.

Friday, Garrett stood up in court, faced the families, apologized, and said he understood that his words "I'm sorry" were still not enough to feel the void they are suffering.

Afterwards, the mothers of the victims reacted to Garrett's comments.

"I would forgive him if he said it to me from my heart," Maria Torres said. "He does not know what he took from me. He took a beautiful person. He had a beautiful soul."

"He said sorry," Cecilia Garcia said. "Coming from the person that took my son's life, I took it, that's all I can say."

Several loved ones, including Torres and Garcia, had emotional, heart-wrenching statements in court about how much they miss their loved ones.

The judge noted, as so many of the family members did afterwards, that one person's decision to drink and then drive, has impacted dozens of lives.


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