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Report: Driver in Route 38 fatal crash was drunk

CAMPTON HILLS – A Wisconsin woman who died in a Dec. 1 four-car crash, which also killed an 18-year-old Kaneland graduate, had a blood-alcohol level of .229 at the time, according to toxicology results released Friday.

That is almost three times the legal limit of .08 percent.

Jennifer Liston, 30, of Madison also had cough syrup and other amounts of controlled substances in her blood, according to the report, made available from the Kane County Coroner’s office through the Freedom of Information Act.

On Dec. 1, Liston led police on a chase on Route 38 through Geneva to Campton Hills, at speeds ranging from 65 to 100 mph. She hit a car in Geneva, kept going, then drove into oncoming traffic, killing both herself and Zachary Bingham of Maple Park in a head-on crash, according to crash reports.

The coroner’s office said Liston died of blunt force trauma because of severe chest and abdominal injuries.

The autopsy report shows she had a fractured breastbone, broken legs and internal bleeding, all from the crash.

Campton Hills Police Chief Dan Hoffman said although Liston’s blood-alcohol content was not ruled the cause of death, alcohol was a major contributing factor in the crash.

Hoffman said Liston met a man from Wheaton via Craigslist and came to his house, where they engaged in drinking and other activities. It was his car, a 2003 Nissan Altima, that Liston crashed, Hoffman said.

“He passes out, and she takes the car ... and drives like a maniac,” Hoffman said. “She left five kids in Wisconsin, and this 18-year-old kid gets killed and his girlfriend is in the car.”

Sugar Grove resident Nadia Kull, who was a passenger in one of the cars that was hit, said she was not surprised to learn that Liston was impaired that night.

“It was an absolute tragedy for that boy and his parents,” Kull said. “He was an only child.”

Kull’s husband, Kevin, was driving their Chevy Malibu when Liston hit them.

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