Edwardsville, Ill. 11/01/2015 — Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons filed charges on Oct. 23, 2015 against Steven L. Willis (d.o.b. 07/02/77) in connection with a fatal traffic accident on Oct. 22, 2015 on Northbound I-55 in Madison County.
Willis, a resident of Maryville, IL, was charged with one count of Aggravated Driving While Under the Influence Causing Death (Class 2 Felony) and one count of Aggravated Driving While Under the Influence (Class 4). Samantha S. Miller, 27, was killed when Miller’s 2014 Chevrolet truck struck and killed her.
Investigators believe that Miller had pulled over to the side of the road when her vehicle, a Mitsubishi, had broken down. Miller was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident which occurred at approximately 8:01 p.m. at Mile Marker 16.0.
Miller was with her three children.
The youngest, a 3-year-old boy, suffered the most serious injuries and is being treated for a skull fracture. The other two children, a girl, 6 and boy, 8, also suffered injuries.
All are being treated at area hospitals; no additional information is available on their condition at this time.
“This was a horrible, tragic event. Three children are now without a mother due to this defendant’s terrible decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated,” said State’s Attorney Gibbons. “My heart goes out to these children and the family and friends of Samantha Miller who are mourning her death at such a young age.”
He thanked his prosecutors, and those individuals who responded to the crash scene including the Illinois State Police, the Coroner’s Office and emergency medical personnel. Maximum penalty for a Class 2 felony is 3-7 years in prison; maximum for the Class 4 felony is 1-3 years in prison. Willis, who was taken into custody at the time of the accident, is currently being held at the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville where is bond was set at $200,000 by Circuit Judge Richard Tognarelli.
The investigation remains open pending final crash reconstruction and toxicology results. Additional charges may be filed at a later date. These charges, as well as the statements made herein, are based upon probable cause.
The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty