Felony DUI, bridge jumping case headed to trial

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The woman who launched a Jeep Cherokee over construction on the Bradley Avenue bridge and crashed into a concrete barrier along I-57 is going to trial.

After hearing testimony Wednesday from an Illinois State Trooper describing how he found 28-year-old Ashia Marshall’s car “wrecked” and the extensive injuries to her passengers, Judge Ronda Holliman determined there was enough evidence to merit a jury trial.

Marshall has been charged with two counts of felony DUI, and will return to court on February 5.

She has pleaded not guilty.

The trial stems from a September 3 incident, in which Marshall, later determined to have had a blood alcohol content of .225, drove a Jeep through a closed construction zone at Bluegrass Lane, left the roadway and went airborne onto Interstate 57.

Illinois State Trooper Kevin Caskey told the court that when he approached Marshall, he smelled “a strong odor of alcohol on her breath.”

Marshall and the two passengers were taken to a local hospital; Conley and Spears suffered significant injuries — Conley suffered respiratory failure and a contusion to his left lung, along with a kidney injury, according to Caskey’s testimony. Spears suffered a tongue laceration, cervical strain and a broken leg bone.

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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