Omar Montoya-Medina, of West Chicago, who was driving drunk when he struck and killed another motorist, was sentenced Monday to five years in prison. (DuPage County Sheriff)

A West Chicago man who was driving drunk at almost 100 miles an hour when he struck and killed another motorist was sentenced Monday to five years in prison.

Before he was sentenced, Omar Montoya-Medina, 31, apologized to the family of Antonio Alvarez, of Warrenville, who died in the fiery collision at the intersection of Illinois Highway 59 and Garys Mill Road in West Chicago on Dec. 5, 2014.

"If I could exchange my life for his, I would do it," Montoya-Medina said, as members of the Alvarez family, including his parents, who made the journey from Mexico, sat in the front row of the DuPage County courtroom of Judge Brian Telander.

Telander, who found Montoya-Medina guilty of aggravated driving under the influence and reckless homicide in February, said he believed the defendant’s remorse was genuine.

But, Telander told him, "your conduct that night was outrageous."

"You were at twice the legal limit, and you were driving about 100 miles an hour," the judge noted.

Alvarez, a father of two, was pronounced dead at the scene, and Montoya-Medina and a passenger in his car suffered burns and other injuries. He was attempting to make a left turn onto Highway 59, when his vehicle was struck by Montoya-Medina’s vehicle, which was northbound on the highway.

Assistant State’s Attorney Demetri Demopoulos asked for a 10-year prison term for Montoya-Medina, and said the accident was wholly preventable.

"Once again, drinking and driving has destroyed a family," the prosecutor said. A blood test taken after the crash showed Montoya-Medina’s blood-alcohol was 0.16 percent, which is double the legal limit, Demopoulos said

Attorney Rick Kayne, who represented Montoya-Medina, said his client’s remorse and lack of any criminal history merited a sentence at the lower end of the range.

Montoya-Medina faced a sentence of three to 14 years on the aggravated DUI charge, though the law allows probation in extraordinary circumstances. He will be required to serve 85 percent of the five-year term, minus credit for the approximately 28 months he has spent in the DuPage County jail since his arrest.

The judge sentenced Montoya-Medina to a concurrent five-year sentence for the reckless homicide conviction.

Clifford Ward is a freelance reporter.

This article was sourced from