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Driver in Decatur accident that caused 4 deaths was legally intoxicated, police say


DECATUR — Police said the Decatur driver who fled from the scene of a collision that resulted in the deaths of four passengers had an estimated blood alcohol level almost three times the legal limit for driving and ran a red light.

A sworn affidavit from Decatur Police said Demetric J. Dixon, 24, was arrested at Decatur Memorial Hospital at 9 a.m. Monday. He was booked on preliminary charges of aggravated driving under the influence involving death and leaving the scene of an accident with fatal injuries. All preliminary charges are subject to review by the state attorney’s office.

Police said he had fled from the scene of the 2:43 a.m. Monday crash at the intersection of East Grand Avenue and North Water Street after his car, crammed with five passengers, ran the light and collided with a semi-truck pulling a fully loaded trailer.

Decatur Police Officer Craig Lundy, writing in the affidavit, said police had located and arrested Dixon after he arrived at the hospital seeking treatment for unspecified injuries resulting from the crash.

“At 8:30 a.m. his blood was drawn, and showed a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.159,” Lundy added. “Extrapolation yields a BAC near 0.25 at the time of the crash.” The legal limit for driving in Illinois is 0.08.

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Of the passengers in Dixon’s vehicle, Keithsah C.S. Bowman, 20, Brittany King, 19, both females, and a 23-year-old male, Armani Cooper, all were pronounced dead shortly after arrival in the DMH emergency room.

A fourth passenger, a male identified as Shonez Harper, 23, was later pronounced dead at 6:05 a.m. in a hospital operating room. Macon County Coroner Michael E. Day had said all the victims died from different combinations of severe head, neck and torso trauma.

An update on the condition of the fifth passenger in Dixon’s car was unavailable Tuesday.

A check of Macon County Jail records Tuesday showed that Dixon remained in custody with bail set at $750,000, meaning he must post $75,000 to bond out. If he makes bail, he is ordered to refrain from drinking alcohol.

Mug shots from the Herald & Review

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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Related to this story

Police say Decatur man Dylan R. Bunch Jr. was traveling around 60 mph under the influence of cannabis when he blew through a stop sign and smashed into another vehicle Saturday night, inflicting fatal injuries on a woman driver.

There were no plans to enact a curfew for later in the evening as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Deputy City Manager Jon Kindseth said. The Herald & Review sought clarification after hearing that there were rumors of a curfew being planned. 

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