Woman suspected in fatal DUI arrested


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A woman charged with aggravated DUI after a deadly crash has been arrested after failing to appear in court.

Champaign Police said the crash happened around 11 p.m. on May 16 near West Church Street and North Carson Avenue. Ring doorbell footage shows the car going westbound on W. Church and driving off the road and finally crashing into a tree in a resident’s yard.

They said Valinda Bender was driving the car. She was unable to get the passenger out of the car, which had turned on to its side. Officers found two empty alcohol bottles were found underneath the overturned car.

A picture taken by a neighbor shows the scene of a deadly DUI crash on May 16 near W. Church St. & N. Carson Ave. in Champaign.

Both Bender and her passenger, Marckus Williams, were taken to the hospital. Williams died in the emergency room while Bender was later released on a state notice to appear for DUI.

Bender was supposed to appear in court in July. However, on Monday, a judge filed a warrant for her arrest on a charge of failure to appear. Bender was also charged with aggravated DUI in regards to the crash.

Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said Bender was arrested Friday night.

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