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Man Pleads Guilty in Crash that Killed Minooka Motorcyclist

Andrew Henderson of Palos Park had drugs including heroin in his system at the time of a crash that killed Ron Oswald and injured a family of four in Plainfield.

Andrew Henderson. Credit: File photo
Andrew Henderson. Credit: File photo
A driver pleaded guilty to having heroin and Vicodin in his system when he caused a crash that killed a motorcyclist two years ago in Plainfield.

Andrew Henderson, 26, of Palos Park, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated DUI in the 2012 crash that killed 57-year-old Ron Oswald of Minooka. 

In exchange for Henderson's guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop other DUI and traffic charges, and said they will not ask for a prison sentence of more than nine years. 

At about 2:30 p.m. on July 14, 2012, police said Henderson's Dodge Durango SUV rear-ended a Nissan Altima at the intersection of Route 126 and County Line Road, pushing the car into the path of Oswald's motorcycle.

Oswald, a Warriors Watch rider who was on his way to Romeoville to do a send-off for a local serviceman, was thrown from his Harley-Davidson and pronounced dead at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora. Though not a veteran, Oswald was known for his support of local servicemen and women and his efforts to educate the public on motorcycle safety. He was also a member of the Patriot Guard Riders and Will County ABATE (A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education).

Four people in the Nissan — a mother, father, infant and toddler — had to be extricated from the vehicle. The woman suffered serious injuries including a fractured hip, four broken ribs and injury to her foot, police said.

Henderson told police he had dropped a milk bottle, which his attorney said was found lodged under the brake pedal of his vehicle, when the crash occurred. Following the crash, he was taken to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, where tests showed drugs in his system including morphine, codeine and heroin.

Henderson, who initially pleaded not guilty before taking the deal this week, is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 4.

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Randy Wayne May 17, 2014 at 07:37 AM
The crazy thing is that the average car (including SUV's) weighs 4,000 lbs but we'll get a fine for not wearing a seatbelt while bikers don't have to wear a helmet. What's wrong with THAT picture? RIP Ron
MommAdversary May 17, 2014 at 12:00 PM
A helmet wouldn't have saved Ron's life. The impaired man choosing to not jump behind the wheel of his car is the ONLY thing that would have stopped this from happening! A wonderful man died, people were hurt and the person accountable for that is getting a slap on the wrist here. Our judicial system is so broken it isn't even funny!
TheQuietOne May 17, 2014 at 02:15 PM
In 9 years this criminal gets to walk out and embrace his family... what about Ron? Think about that before you blame a helmet instead of this spoiled druggie trash. He was obviously distracted with a "milk bottle" instead of paying attention to the road in the middle of broad daylight.
John Public .. May 17, 2014 at 06:51 PM
ONLY 9 Years !
Dense much? May 19, 2014 at 11:37 AM
I hope he gets ran over while leaving prison

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