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Driver in crash that killed 5 Illinois teens released from prison

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AURORA, Ill. — A suburban Chicago woman convicted in a 2007 car crash that killed five teenagers has been released from prison after nearly 12 years, the state's Department of Corrections said.

The (Aurora) Beacon-News reported that a corrections department spokeswoman said Sandra Vasquez, 37, of Aurora, entered a work-release program on July 27 at the Fox Valley Transition Center.

Vasquez was sentenced to 15 years in prison after a jury found her guilty of aggravated drunken driving and reckless homicide for her role in the February 2007 crash that killed the five teens and injured at least three others.

At the trial, Vasquez testified that she'd gone to pick up her sister from a home where a group of teenagers had been drinking alcohol and that after she offered an intoxicated teen a ride, several more teens piled into her car.

Vasquez testified that she had turned to look over her shoulder when she felt a bump from the back seat and when she turned back around she swerved to avoid an oncoming vehicle. Her car skidded across the roadway and slammed into a utility pole.

Prosecutors presented evidence that showed Vasquez's blood-alcohol level after the crash was .124, above the legal threshold of .08.


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