New Athens man pleads guilty in 2017 double-fatal accident

Kevin G. Helfrich

BELLEVILLE, Ill. – A southern Illinois man has pleaded guilty in connection with a 2017 vehicle crash that left two men dead.

The Belleville News Democrat reports 55-year-old Kevin G. Helfrich of New Athens entered guilty pleas Wednesday to one count of aggravated DUI resulting in death and two counts of reckless homicide. He was accused of driving drunk and in the wrong direction when his truck crashed head-on into a car, killing 37-year-old John Bannister and 36-year-old Daryl Harton. The Belleville men were out celebrating their anniversary.

Assistant State’s Attorney John Trippi said Helfrich had no deal with prosecutors and was offered no incentives to plead guilty. Trippi said Helfrich was “throwing himself at the mercy of the court.”

Helfrich is to be sentenced in late March or April.
Information from: Belleville News-Democrat,

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