Tom Burleson, a Crystal Lake man whose family was killed by a drunken driver in 1999, told the Daily Herald this past week he felt sad that the same man, Walter J. Depner, has been arrested again for drunken driving.
Burleson told the Daily Herald he would like to see Depner move on with his life "and make the best of what time he has left."
Depner was out on parole when the most recent DUI allegations were brought against him.
He served 12 years of a 14-year sentence for the DUI-related crash that killed Burleson's wife, Eva, 34; and his three children, Daniel, 13; Tiffany, 11; and Dallis, 7, according to the Northwest Herald.
Burleson was driving his family's mini-van back from a day at Six Flags Great America at the time of the crash and was the sole survivor in the accident, according to the Northwest Herald.
The past Sunday, the McHenry County Sheriff's Office was called to 905 W. Rand Road in unincorporated Lakemoor for a report of a vehicle that had driven off the road.
Around the same time, police received a second call regarding an unwanted subject at a home in the 500 block of North Boulevard in unincorporated Lakemoor, according to a McHenry County Sheriff's Office news release.
Upon arriving at Rand Road, deputies saw the vehicle that had veered off the road was gone, according to the news release.
Meanwhile, at the North Boulevard house, the homeowner told deputies a man pulled his car into his driveway, walked into his house and sat on his couch. The homeowner recognized the intruder as someone who used to live in the neighborhood, the news release stated.
The unwanted guest was identified as Depner who now lives at 1717 Aralia Drive in Mount Prospect, according to the press release.
Sheriff’s deputies spoke with Depner, who said had had been at his girlfriend’s house and they had gotten into an argument. Depner appeared intoxicated and took his girlfriend’s vehicle for a drive in his old neighborhood.
Police said Depner was upset, and his speech was slurred. The McHenry Township Fire Protection District responded to the scene and provided Depner with medical attention, according to the news release.
The vehicle Depner was driving had snow on the left bumper with minor damage to it. There was no property damage located on Rand Road. Depner was transported to Centegra Hospital McHenry for medical treatment.
He was also issued four citations:
- Driving while license revoked
- Driving an uninsured motor vehicle
- Improper lane use
Bond for Depner was set at $1,500. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 15.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office continues to work with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office and Depner’s Parole Officer during the course of this investigation and additional charges may be pending.