Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that Erik Christensen, 51, of Wilmington, was sentenced Wednesday to 9 years in prison for driving while under the influence of alcohol and causing a fatal crash on I-55 in November 2020 that resulted in the death of 33-year-old Nicholas Ercolini. Christensen pled guilty to Aggravated Driving Under the Influence
and Aggravated Driving While License Revoked and was sentenced by Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak.
Evidence showed that on November 22, 2020, at approximately 9:50 pm, Christensen was driving his Chevrolet Tahoe on I-55, after drinking alcohol at Snookers Sports Bar and Grill in
Wilmington. Christensen exited the highway at the 126th Street exit, at a high rate of speed. He lost control of his vehicle, causing him to leave the roadway striking a tree and sign. When
Christensen reentered the 126th Street exit ramp, he did so in the wrong direction. Christensen then began heading the wrong way on that ramp towards I-55. When he reentered onto I-55, still headed in the wrong direction, he collided head on with the victim, who was driving his Saturn Vue northbound on I-55 on his way to work. Both Christensen and the victim were entrapped in their vehicles and removed by members of the Wilmington Fire Department. The victim was taken to Ascension St. Joseph Hospital in Joliet and later pronounced dead.
Christensen has multiple prior impaired driving offenses including one in DuPage County and two in Wisconsin.
He will receive 656 days credit for time served, which includes 617 days he spent in home confinement. “The Safe-T Act grants Erikson 617 days credit as time served for his home confinement. Meanwhile, the family of Nicholis Ercolini is now enduring a lifetime of suffering caused by Christensen,” Glasgow said. “A 33-year-old’s life was extinguished because Christensen, a repeat offender, made the selfish decision to once again drive while intoxicated.” Christensen’s blood alcohol level alcohol was .22; it is illegal to drive in Illinois with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater.
Glasgow thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Christine Vukmir, Victim Witness Advocate Danette Pasdertz, Legal Secretary Kendall Ziech, and the Illinois State Police for their dedication and