Newly released dashcam video shows last November’s drunk driving arrest of a man who triggered a violent crash which killed an Illinois State trooper in March.
That motorist, 44 year old Dan Davies, was a paraplegic who never had a driver’s license and was stopped dozens of times by police. But authorities never took any actions which kept him off the road, despite the fact that he was cited at least three times for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
On March 30, Davies was blamed for a wrong-way accident on the Tri-State Tollway near Deerfield which killed Illinois State trooper Gerald Ellis. Davies also died in that accident, and Lake County Coroner Howard Cooper said he had a blood alcohol level of .169, more than twice the legal limit.
The new video, obtained by NBC5 Investigates from the Illinois State Police, shows the incident last November 11th when Davies was found passed out behind the wheel of his car on an entrance ramp of I-57. In the video, a trooper is seen pounding on his window, attempting to wake him up.
At one point, Davies attempts to drive away, using a cane to operate his car’s accelerator pedal, but fails to put the car in drive.
“Stop revving the engine,” the trooper shouts. “You’re going to hurt someone!”
Eventually, the officer gains entry to Davies car, observes that he appears to be intoxicated and that the car has a strong odor of marijuana.
“Why are you sleeping here,” the trooper asks. “You were passed out cold, behind the wheel!”
Davies reportedly did poorly during a field sobriety test, and fared worse when he agreed to blow into a portable breathalyzer. When he declared that he was not drunk, the trooper was outraged.
“You’re at a .153---how is that not drunk man?” the trooper shouted. “And you’re high!”
Davies faced multiple felony counts stemming from that arrest, but was given only a $3000 I-bond which didn’t require posting any cash. NBC5’s repeated questions to the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx about why no higher bond was ever sought have gone mostly unanswered over the last three weeks, but late Wednesday, spokesman Tandra Simonton offered a statement on the office’s position in the case.
“The $3,000 I-bond in this case was given to Davies by the Illinois State Police at the time of his arrest for misdemeanor traffic charges in November 2018,” the statement said. “Prosecutors upgraded the traffic offenses to felony criminal charges in January 2019 based on a previous DUI conviction. While a motion to increase the bail was filed in this case, it was not litigated.”
The statement adds that Davies appeared for every court hearing. But observers have noted that a higher bond might have kept him in custody and off the road. There was no explanation why a bond motion was never pursued.