The motorist blamed for a wrong-way crash which killed an Illinois State Trooper was confined to a wheelchair, operated his car’s gas pedal with a cane, never had a driver’s license, and had been stopped by police in Cook County at least two dozen times. But that driver, 44-year-old Dan Davies, continued to drive. And court documents obtained by NBC 5 Investigates indicate he was never subject to a higher bond which might have prevented him from getting behind the wheel.
Davies had been stopped at least 24 times by police throughout Cook County. Every single one of those times, he was cited for having no driver’s license.
In the past 10 years Davies had been found guilty at least once previously of driving under the influence.
The latest of his DUI arrests was last November, when an Illinois State Trooper found him slumped over the wheel of his car on an entrance ramp to I-57.
During a preliminary hearing, the arresting officer testified Davies attempted to flee.
“He picked up a cane that was to the right of him, and he pressed the accelerator with the cane,” that trooper said. “I saw that the defendant did have a wheelchair to the right.”
The report from that November DUI, obtained by NBC5 Investigates, indicates Davies had a blood alcohol level of .152, nearly twice the legal limit.
Still, he was given what’s known as an “I-bond”, meaning he did not have to post any money, and didn’t go to jail.
And that bond was never raised.
NBC5’s repeated inquiries to the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx about why Davies was still behind the wheel have gone unanswered. Court files reveal that an assistant State’s Attorney did announce an intention to seek a bond hearing after Davies’ case was elevated to felony status, but there is no indication that hearing ever took place.
“Had the bond hearing occurred,” said a source close to the investigation, “he most likely would have been in Cook County Jail and not on the road.”
After weeks of questions, Foxx spokeswoman Tandra Simonton offered only a written statement.
“Prosecutors upgraded the original traffic offenses filed by the arresting police agency in November 2018 to felony criminal charges in January 2019,” that statement said. “As the criminal case was pending, the defendant appeared at each of the next four scheduled court dates with his attorney, including the last court date on March 18, 2019.”
Court records indicate the last of those hearings was March 8th, and that Davies was due in court again April 3rd.
He and trooper Ellis died in the violent crash on the Tri-State tollway near Deerfield March 30th. The Lake County Coroner indicated Davies had alcohol in his system, but his blood alcohol level had not been determined, pending the results of toxicology reports which are still being processed.