On February 8th, Alia Bernard of Aurora was sentenced to seven years in prison for causing a motorcycle collision in 2009 which resulted in the death of Wade Thomas and as his wife, Denise. The crash occurred near Batavia.
According to Bernard’s testimony to Kane County Judge Allen Anderson, she had reached down for her sunglasses while driving her car, and was unable to stop herself from colliding with a car waiting in a left turn lane while the motorcyclists passed. The chain reaction caused by Bernard’s collision forced the front car into the way of the riders.
Although Bernard had initially entered a guilty plea for driving under the influence, it was later determined that she was not affected by alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident. She was, however, distracted emotionally due to a misunderstanding with her boyfriend at the time.
Wade and Denise Thomas had been married for one year and had nine children from previous marriages. Wade Thomas’ daughter Amanda, 24, expressed satisfaction after the sentence was read.
This recent testimony was the first time Bernard had given her account of what happened that day. Relatives and motorcycle riders flooded the courtroom to hear the sentencing, and several friends of Denise and Wade Thomas expressed doubt at Alia Bernard’s version of events.
The Madison motorcycle accident attorneys at Hupy and Abraham express our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Denise and Wade Thomas.