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New Lenox man gets 8 years in prison for 2012 fatal crash

Published: Saturday, July 19, 2014 11:26 p.m. CDT
Kevin Krohn

JOLIET – A New Lenox man was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison for the 2012 car crash that killed his friend.

Judge Edward Burmila said he cannot understand why Kevin E. Krohn wouldn’t identify the passenger killed in the fiery crash to authorities after Jake Stevens, 22, was burned beyond recognition. Stevens was eventually identified through dental records.

“[The Stevens] family was deluded for three days ... hoping he could just be missing and would turn up alive when the defendant had that information the whole time,” Burmila said. “It inflicted unnecessary pain on the victim’s family. [It’s] cruel to a point I can’t even assess.”

Krohn, 23, who testified earlier that Stevens was like an “older brother” to him, pleaded guilty earlier this year to aggravated driving under the influence. He faced up to 14 years in prison.

About 3:44 a.m. Aug. 25, 2012, Krohn was driving west in a 2002 Dodge Stratus over the hill on Steger Road at 104th Avenue near Frankfort. Police said Krohn lost control and struck a tree, a retaining wall and a large metal phone-switching box on the northeast corner of the intersection, causing the car to burst into flames.

Lab tests later showed Krohn’s blood-alcohol content was above the legal limit and there was marijuana in his system.

Philip Stevens said he felt neither happy or sad by Krohn’s sentence in the death of his son.

“It still doesn’t bring my son back, and now another of the nation’s young men will spend [a part of] his life in the penitentiary gaining nothing for us or himself,” Stevens said.

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