Rural Paxton man pleads guilty to reckless homicide in 2016 crash

PAXTON — A rural Paxton man pleaded guilty Tuesday to reckless homicide in connection with an August 2016 head-on crash that killed a 19-year-old Paxton woman.

In return for 27-year-old Thomas T. Hoekstra’s plea to the Class 3 felony, Ford County State’s Attorney Andrew Killian agreed to dismiss two other Class 2 felony counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol.

Ford County Circuit Judge Matt Fitton set sentencing for the afternoon of May 24. Hoekstra faces a sentence ranging from up to 30 months of probation with community service to 2-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. If sent to prison, Hoekstra would serve a “day-for-day sentence,” Fitton noted.

Fitton advised Hoekstra, who appeared with his attorney, Frank A. Astrella of Joliet, to contact court services to arrange for a pre-sentencing investigation.

Hoekstra was charged in connection with a two-vehicle head-on collision that occurred just south of Paxton on Aug. 1, 2016. The accident killed a passenger in the other vehicle, Kourtni Sue “Suzy” Elizabeth Eastman, and left three others injured.

Hoekstra allegedly failed field-sobriety tests at the scene, and an emergency blood draw showed his BAC was 0.152 — above the legal limit of 0.08.

Location (3):Local, Paxton, Ford County

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