Ralph Cornell | ‘Designated driver' ticketed for going 135 mph - KMSP-TV

‘Designated driver' ticketed for going 135 mph

Posted: Updated:
ONARGA, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A west suburban man told police who stopped him on Interstate 57 Sunday afternoon that he was a designated driver and wanted to get his intoxicated passenger home safely -- that's why he was driving 135 mph.

The incident occurred on I-57 near Onarga, about 30 miles south of Kankakee. An Illinois State Trooper running stationary radar on I-57 at milepost 279 near Onarga observed a vehicle traveling north at 135 mph in a 65 mph zone at 12:41 p.m., a statement from state police said.

The 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee slowed down after the driver saw the trooper, but the radar had already caught him going more than double the speed limit, state police spokesman Trooper Steven Sigler said. The trooper stopped the Jeep, driven by 34-year-old Ralph Cornell of River Grove. Sigler said there was no chase involved and the trooper who pulled Cornell over didn't have to hit triple digits to catch up to him. "The individual saw [the trooper] and slowed down," knowing he had been caught, Sigler said.

Cornell told the trooper he was the designated driver and wanted to get his intoxicated passenger home safely, police said. He was issued a citation for speeding 40 mph over the speed limit, a Class A misdemeanor.

State police took advantage of the arrest to remind drivers that speeding is one of the "Fatal Four" violations. Speeding:

— reduces a driver's ability to steer safely around curves and other objects;

— extends the distance required to stop;

— increase crash severity;

— lowers the effectiveness of restraint devices like air bags, seatbelts, crumple zones and side beams; and

— increases the probability of death, disfigurement or debilitating injury, which double for every 10 mph traveling over 50 mph.

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