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Urbana man charged with DUI, reckless homicide in death of Chicago student at U of I

The driver of a pickup truck that went over a curb and struck two students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, killing one of them, had marijuana in his system and faces felony charges or driving under the influence, Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said Tuesday.

Willie Craft Sr., 58, of Urbana, was charged last Friday with two felony counts of driving under the influence and one count of reckless homicide.

Craft was initially cited for driving without insurance and improper lane usage after the Oct. 9 crash that killed Mimi Liu, 20, of Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, and injured another student as they walked on a sidewalk near the university campus.

Rietz said that further investigation showed that in addition to having marijuana in his system, Craft also was not properly treating his diabetic condition.

Rietz said Craft had a history of diabetes and that at the time of the crash, he had significantly low blood sugar levels. He reported that he did not eat breakfast that morning even though he knew he needed it to keep his blood levels up, she said.

Craft, who is not in custody, was scheduled to be in court Dec. 6, Rietz said.

Rietz said Craft told officials he was driving on the day of the crash for the first time in three years with the intent of getting insurance for his vehicle. He said he had avoided driving because of his diabetic condition.

mmanchir@tribune.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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