Bridge jumper in court for first appearance

News

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — A date for a preliminary hearing has been set for a woman who police said drove her vehicle with two other passengers inside off the unfinished Bradley Avenue bridge.

Ashia Marshall, 28, appeared in court before associate judge Adam Dill Friday morning. 

She has been charged with two counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, and causing great bodily harm to the two passengers in the car. 

Both aggravated DUI counts are Class 4 felonies, which require a minimum of 10 days in jail or 480 hours of community service. 

Because the accident harmed the two passengers, Maurice Conley and Robert Spears, Marshall could face a sentence of 1-12 years in prison and one year of parole, in addition to fines up to $25,000. The State’s Attorney says, if convicted, Marshall could have her license revoked.

State’s Attorney, Julia Rietz, also says she believes the passengers are recovering.

“They did sustain serious injuries — contusions, broken legs, kidney injuries, internal injuries and were hospitalized for some time following the crash,” says Rietz.

Marshall will be back in court for the preliminary hearing on December 4.

Her charges stem from the Sept. 3 incident, in which Marshall was traveling eastbound on Bradley Avenue when she drove a Jeep through a closed construction zone at Bluegrass Lane, left the roadway and went airborne onto Interstate 57.

Court records show Marshall has had a long history of traffic violations, as well as two license suspensions initiated by the Secretary of State. 

After one incident in 2012 — a failure to stop and exchange information following an accident — and two in 2013, including a speeding violation and using an electronic device while driving, the state issued a “discretionary” suspension of Marshall’s license for three traffic violations in a 12-month period, according to the record.

Then, in 2014, the state again suspended Marshall’s license after an “uninsured crash,” according to records. Police cited Marshall for driving on a suspended license in 2016.

And although Marshall’s record also shows that she was involved in a May crash this year that involved “personal injury,” the citation used by the Secretary of State noted that “fault is not determined.”

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