Driver in Oswego Crash Sentenced to 15 Years

Sandra Vasquez faced up to 28 years in prison for 2007 crash that killed five teens

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    Sandra Vasquez was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison for a 2007 crash that killed five Oswego teens. (Published Friday, Aug. 27, 2010)

    An Aurora woman was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison for a 2007 crash that killed five Oswego teens.

    Sandra Vasquez, 26, the mother of two young children, faced up to 28 years in prison for the Feb. 11, 2007 crash, though she had asked for probation.  The prison term means she'll have to spend at least 12-1/2 years behind bars.

    Vasquez appeared to faint Friday and was removed twice from the Kendall County courtroom during the hearing. The young mother recovered a short time later and Associate Judge Clint Hull continued hearing from family members.

    "Can you please bring my mommy back? I love her and can't live without her," a letter written by her son, Isaiah, said in part, according to the Daily Herald. "My dad's gone. She's the only person we have."

    Family members of the victims also read impact statements.

    "Nothing is going to bring back what happened, nothing is going to change the verdict.  I just, I really don't know what to say, I feel sorry for her. I feel sorry for her kids," said Debbie Stompanato, the aunt of one the victims.

    Vasquez was intoxicated on Feb. 11, 2007 when she drove her sedan full of eight teens down Illinois Route 31 in Oswego, lost control and hit a utility pole.  Killed were Jessica Nutoni, 15; Tiffany Urso, 16; Matthew Frank, 17; Katherine Merkel, 14; and James McGee. 

    The three teens who survived said during their testimony that they had no recollection of the incident.

    Vasquez was convicted earlier this summer of causing the crash.