Daily Herald: DUI Crash Aftermath

May 6, 2012 7:37:32 AM PDT
On paper, Hampshire resident Francisco Valdez is a millionaire. He and his family were awarded $2.7 million for a Dec. 24, 2008 crash caused by a drunk driver, who was sent to prison for eight years.

In reality, Valdez and his family are in dire straits. He walks with a cane and cannot return to his construction job to support his family. And the chances of collecting any money from the drunk driver are non-existent. And a judge recently gave the go-ahead for their bank to put their home up for foreclosure auction - all this because the Valdez family was in the wrong place at the wrong time - headed to Provena St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin on Christmas Eve morning to visit Valdez' wife, who had a stroke, when their car was hit.

"This is a tragedy upon a tragedy," said Laura Haske, an Elgin attorney working pro bono to help the family in their foreclosure case.

You can read the full story in the Daily Herald's edition from Sunday, May 6, 2012, or online at dailyherald.com.