An Oak Lawn man, visiting South Carolina, was the victim of a crash that took his life and resulted in felony driving under the influence charges for another man.
Last weekend, an early morning crash took the life of William Kappel Jr. 32 year old Oak Lawn resident, who was a passenger in a 2016 Mazda sedan that was struck by a 2004 Ford pickup truck driven by William Garris.
According to multiple reports from South Carolina, witnesses told the police that the Ford pickup truck disregarded the traffic signal while traveling north and entered the intersection on a red light crashing into the passenger side of the westbound Mazda. The Mazda then struck a building at the corner of Meeting Street and Columbus Street.
Kappel, a passenger in the front seat of the Mazda sustained a fatal injury and was pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency responders. The news release stated that the other three individuals in the Mazda were transported to the Medical University of South Carolina. The driver of the Mazda sustained serious internal injuries due to the collision and was hospitalized and in serious condition. The other two passengers sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
The Ford was occupied by two individuals and both were transported to the Medical University of South Carolina for non-life-threatening injuries, according to the news release.
Officers who arrived at the Medical University of South Carolina alleged that the driver of the Ford, Thomas C. Garris of North Charleston, South Carolina, was impaired.
Garris was arrested for Felony Driving Under the Influence Resulting in Death, Felony Driving Under the Influence Resulting in Great Bodily Injury, and Reckless Homicide.
A Conviction of Felony DUI with Death results can result in:
—-Fines of not less than $10,100, not more than $25,100
—-Mandatory imprisonment of not less than 1 year, not more than 25 years
—-Enrollment in the Ignition Interlock Device Program for five years
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, alcohol was a factor in nearly 1 in 3 traffic-related deaths in the U.S. in 2014. Legal and illegal drugs were involved in 16% of traffic-related deaths.
A bond hearing for Garris took place on Sunday, January 27, 2019 and the judge denied bond. Garris is in the photograph below.