from the Circuit Court of Lake County. No. 14-CF-3239.
Honorable George D. Strickland, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE BURKE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Birkett and Justice Zenoff
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 Police initiated a traffic stop of defendant, Ronald Q.
Maas, who was 18 years old and driving a Ford Fusion, with
his 15-year-old girlfriend, Elizabeth Zoph, as a passenger.
Defendant sped away, and the car crashed and rolled over. The
couple fled on foot and stole a Ford F-350 pickup truck.
Defendant rammed the vehicle through a police roadblock and
was shot in the face by an officer. Defendant sped away and
police followed, but the chase ended when defendant crossed
into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a subcompact
car, seriously injuring its two occupants, Helen Pecoraro and
Richard Clark. The pickup rolled over and caught fire.
Defendant abandoned Zoph, who was injured and unconscious,
and hid behind a barn of a nearby residence.
2 Police discovered defendant behind the barn, attempting to
drive away in a Ford F-550 dump truck. Defendant was arrested
and transported to a hospital, where he tested positive for
cocaine and heroin and had a blood alcohol concentration
(BAC) of 0.13.
3 After a jury trial, defendant was convicted of aggravated
possession of a stolen motor vehicle (aggravated PSMV) (625
ILCS 5/4-103.2(a)(7)(A) (West 2014)), aggravated driving with
an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more (aggravated DUI)
(625 ILCS 5/11-501(d)(1)(C) (West 2014)), failure to report a
motor vehicle accident involving personal injury (625 ILCS
5/11-401(b) (West 2014)), attempted theft (720 ILCS 5/8-4(a),
16-1(a)(1)(C) (West 2014)), two counts of aggravated assault
(720 ILCS 5/12-2(c)(8) (West 2014)), and criminal damage to
government supported property (720 ILCS 5/21-1.01(a)(1) (West
2014)). The trial court imposed an aggregate sentence of 22
4 On direct appeal, defendant argues that (1) he was not
proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of failing to report
a motor vehicle accident involving personal injury, (2) the
trial court erroneously admitted the hospital's chemical
test results as records of emergency medical treatment under
section 11-501.4 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Vehicle Code)
(625 ILCS 5/11-501.4 (West 2014)), (3) the convictions of
both aggravated DUI and aggravated PSMV violate the one-act,
one-crime rule; and (4) the trial court erred in imposing
consecutive sentences for aggravated DUI and aggravated PSMV.
5 I. BACKGROUND
6 A. The Traffic Stop
7 At trial, Round Lake police officer Rick Tinsley testified
that he observed the Fusion drive past him at a high rate of
speed at 10:45 p.m. on November 13, 2014. Officer Tinsley
tried to pull over the car. Defendant stopped but refused
orders to exit the car and then sped away. Officer Tinsley
was eventually directed to stop his pursuit of defendant.
Eric Anderson testified that he owned the Fusion and that the
car had been stolen.
8 Round Lake police officer Kurtis Schultz corroborated
Officer Tinsley's testimony regarding defendant's
fleeing the traffic stop. After pursuing defendant for
awhile, Officer Schultz was ordered to stop the pursuit. Soon
thereafter, Officer Schultz learned that the Fusion had been
reported stolen and that it had crashed.
9 Officer Schultz was notified via radio that another
vehicle, the F-350 pickup, had been reported stolen near the
site of the crash of the Fusion. Elzbieta Jakubiak testified
that her husband, Roman, owned the F-350 pickup. She observed
someone stealing the pickup around 11:30 p.m. on November 13,
2014, and woke Roman, who corroborated his wife's
testimony at trial.
10 Officer Schultz went to the crash site, saw the F-350
pickup, and reported it to dispatch. Officer Schultz
activated his emergency lights and siren and attempted to
stop the pickup, but defendant sped away. Officer Schultz
deactivated his emergency lights and siren, according to
department policy not to engage in high speed chases relating
to property thefts.
11 Officer Schultz continued to follow the F-350 pickup,
which doubled back and almost struck his patrol car. The
officer reactivated his lights and siren but deactivated them
again after defendant failed to stop. The pickup cut across a
12 B. The Roadblock
13 The jury saw a video recording of part of the pursuit of
the F-350 pickup, including as it approached the police
roadblock at an intersection. The police vehicles had their
lights activated, and the officers were on foot. Officer
Schultz testified that he saw defendant back up near Officer
Shane Page. Defendant then pulled forward, pushed aside a red
pickup truck, and sped away.
14 David Ashbacher testified that he was driving the red
pickup around 11:10 p.m. on November 13, 2014. The F-350
pickup came "at a high rate of speed through the police
blockade, and turned left, and then hit [him] head-on."
The F-350 pickup pushed back Ashbacher's pickup and then
backed up "a significant distance." The F-350
pickup accelerated again, rammed Ashbacher's pickup, and
"pushed [it] down the highway." Ashbacher was dazed
but remembered the sound of gunfire followed by silence.
Ashbacher was diagnosed with a concussion, and his pickup was
15 Officer Page testified that, at the roadblock, the F-350
pickup struck the squad car of Lake County sheriff's
deputy Michael Kuvales. It also struck and moved
Ashbacher's pickup. Officer Page drew a number of
diagrams relating to how the F-350 pickup struck various
16 Officer Page testified that, after defendant backed into
Deputy Kuvales' vehicle, defendant started to drive
straight toward Officer Page. Defendant did not heed Officer
Page's order to stop. Officer Page ran toward the side of
the F-350 pickup and fired two shots from his pistol. The
F-350 pickup struck Asherbach's pickup again. Officer
Page knew that defendant had been wounded by his gunshots.
Officer Page saw the reverse lights of the F-350 pickup and
jumped over the guardrail. Officer Page believed that
defendant intended to harm or kill him and the other
17 Deputy Kuvales corroborated Officer Page's testimony.
Deputy Kuvales pursued the F-350 pickup and attempted to pull
it over by activating his lights and siren. Defendant did not
pull over. Deputy Kuvales was traveling 80 miles per hour,
but defendant was pulling away from him.
18 The jury was shown a surveillance video of an attempt to
pull over defendant. Deputy Kuvales observed the F-350 pickup
cross over the center line and drive directly toward a marked
Lake Villa squad car that had its emergency lights activated.
The squad car had to brake and swerve to avoid being struck.
Deputy Kuvales and other officers positioned their cars at an
intersection to protect civilians. He was forced to move his
car from defendant's path to avoid being struck. Deputy
Kuvales also saw Officer Sciarrone move his vehicle to avoid
being struck. Deputy Kuvales observed the F-350 pickup strike
Ashbacher's pickup. The deputy identified pictures of the
damage to his squad car.
19 Deputy Kuvales was forced to scramble out of his squad car
with the aid of another officer, because the F-350's
reverse lights came on and he believed that defendant would
try to strike his squad car again. Deputy Kuvales observed
the F-350 pickup hit Ashbacher's pickup a third time and
push it aside as the F-350 pickup accelerated away from the
20 C. The Collision With Pecoraro and Clark
21 Pecoraro and Clark were on their way to pick up her
daughter from a hospital in Libertyville on the night of
November 13, 2014. Clark was driving Pecoraro's Chevy
Spark, a subcompact car. Traveling south, she suddenly saw
the headlights of a truck approaching them head-on in their
lane. Pecoraro testified that they were hit, her car spun
around, and she was very sore. She asked Clark if he was okay
and he said "no." Pecoraro stepped out of the car,
but Clark was pinned inside. The next thing Pecoraro
remembered was waking up in a health care facility in
Libertyville. She did not remember first being at a hospital.
22 Pecoraro testified that her sternum, some ribs, and both
feet were broken. She was confined to a wheelchair and needed
diapers for four months. Two screws were placed into her
toes, and she required extensive physical therapy. Pecoraro
did not see Clark for several days. She had to purchase and
move into a different home because she and Clark could no
longer climb stairs. She could no longer work as a
23 Clark corroborated Pecoraro's description of the
collision. He had worked as a foreman for a structural steel
fabricator shop for 17 years but had been unemployed since
the collision. Clark testified that he woke up in a hospital
"with everything broken." Among his 27 broken bones
were his jaw, eye socket, nose, arms, sternum, and multiple
ribs. His leg "popped out" from the left side, and
his right foot was crushed under the gas pedal. Clark noted
scars on his jaw, over both eyes, on both arms, and on his
left knee. He also had a plate with 13 screws in his left
arm. His "collar" was "severed in half,"
and he had a plate and screws there as well. Clark underwent
five surgeries on his right foot. He could not move his toes,
and screws held his foot together. Clark incurred more than
$400, 000 in medical expenses.
24 Officer Eric McNeil testified that he responded to the
incidents "occurring throughout the county."
Officer McNeil joined the roadblock and activated his
emergency lights. The F-350 pickup approached and did not
stop. Officer McNeil and an officer in another vehicle
traveled 80 miles per hour in pursuit of the F-350 pickup,
but the truck was pulling away from them.
25 The F-350 pickup accelerated toward a curve in the road,
and the officers decelerated as they approached. Officer
McNeil recalled passing through the curve and driving through
a cloud of debris and smoke. As he cleared the debris,
Officer McNeil saw the F-350 pickup upside down with the
engine on fire. The Spark was off to the side and appeared
26 Officer McNeil helped Zoph crawl from the F-350 pickup.
Pieces of both vehicles were strewn on the road. Clark had to