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Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 12:46 pm

Road hazard

Springfield woman with 37 traffic offenses finally has her driver’s license revoked

A Springfield woman who allegedly hit and killed a man and who has numerous traffic violations was still driving legally until recently. Her license was revoked after Mothers Against Drunk Driving notified State’s Attorney John Milhiser of the young woman’s pending charge of “aggravated DUI.”

Ursula L. Jones, 22, has one documented traffic offense already in Jan. 2011, 11 traffic offenses in 2010, 11 traffic offenses in 2009, eight offenses in 2008, five in 2007 and two in 2006. The cases do not include a pending aggravated DUI case involving the death of Danny Wayne Dapron Jr.

Jones had her driver’s license administratively revoked by the Illinois secretary of state on Jan. 29, according to Milhiser in a Feb. 8 phone interview with Illinois Times.

According to Sangamon County Circuit Court records, Jones had 37 cases on her record. They involve mostly traffic violations and the pending criminal felony case. According to Sangamon County coroner reports dated Sept. 1, 2010, Dapron Jr. was riding a bicycle on the 1600 block of South Martin Luther King Drive, when he was struck by a motor vehicle identified by Springfield police as Jones’ vehicle. Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Leo Zappa continued Jones’ case on Feb. 7. A May 2 jury trial is planned at Sangamon County Circuit Court.

Jones first appeared in circuit court for the incident Aug. 10. Between the dates of Nov. 10, when she bonded out of jail, and Jan. 28, Jones’ license remained legal.

W. Scott Hanken, Jones’ attorney, told Illinois Times he could not discuss the case, which is still pending, until he consults with Jones. He could not be reached for comment on Feb. 10 or 11.

Jones posted $10,000 bond Nov. 10 for aggravated leaving the scene of an accident, leaving the scene of an accident/death and operating an uninsured vehicle. Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Kuntz added 10 counts of “driving under the influence” on Nov. 29.

First Acceptance Services, Inc. sent a document dated Sept. 30 saying that she was driving uninsured when allegedly hitting Dapron Jr.

Milhiser confirmed Feb. 8 that Jones had her license revoked on Jan. 29 after Milhiser sent a request for an administrative revocation of Jones’ license. State law says that an individual with a pending aggravated DUI case can have his or her  license administratively revoked.

Milhiser says he submitted a request to the secretary of state’s office for Jones’ administrative revocation on Dec. 13, four days after receiving an inquiry from Kristi Hosea. Hosea, victims services specialist for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, contacted Milhiser in a letter dated Dec. 9. Hosea, who has met with the family of Danny Wayne Dapron Jr., said in the letter: “Recently it was brought to my attention that the alleged offender in the case, Ursula Jones, has a valid driver’s license and continues to drive on the roads of our community.”

Milhiser also sent copies of the crash report/investigation and coroner’s report and indictment. The request was sent to Lou Hanning at the secretary of state’s office.    

As of Feb. 8 Danny Dapron Sr. had not heard that Jones’ license had been revoked. Given the news that she can no longer drive legally, he and his family continue to grieve for his son.

“My son was the last of the Daprons. There’s no more, ever, you know,” he says. “She just took away our whole family ‘cause they’ll never carry the name on no more.”

Contact Holly Dillemuth at hdillemuth@illinoistimes.com.


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