Poplar Grove Woman Sentenced to 14 Years for Fatal DUI Crash in Marengo

A lady from Poplar Grove was in tears as she admitted her guilt over driving under drug influence, speeding at 104 mph, and running a red signal, culminating in a fatal crash in Marengo in 2021, which took two lives. The woman, named Miranda A. Johnson, 28 years old, was sentenced to 14 years in jail after her confession on two counts of death due to driving under the influence of cocaine.

Crying profusely, Johnson addressed the victims’ families with her remorse, wishing she was the one who had died instead of them. The fatal accident claimed the lives of Julie Greif, 51, from Marengo, and Carlos Valencia, 34, from Elgin, on September 29, 2021, at around 5 p.m.

As reported by Assistant State’s Attorney William Bruce, Johnson, high on cocaine, was driving a 2012 Honda Civic. She ran a stop light and crashed into Greif’s vehicle that was crossing the intersection at a green light, going around 35 mph north on Route 23. The “catastrophic damage” caused both vehicles to flip upside down. Valencia was in the car driven by Johnson.

Moving testimonies were presented by Greif’s family, who remembered her as a loving soul who always prioritized others. Valencia’s family described him as a kind and respectful person who was rebuilding his life after a troubled past when it abruptly ended.

Upon her release, Johnson will have two years of supervised mandatory release. She is required to serve 85% of her sentence and is credited with 495 days spent in the McHenry County jail while waiting for the trial. Her plea led to the dismissal of additional charges, such as reckless homicide and driving uninsured, among others.

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