A limousine driver allegedly took 23 Illinois high schoolers to their prom on Saturday night while he was drunk.
The driver, Richard L. Madison, an employee of Limos Alive, was supposed to drive the Oswego East High School student safely to their destination of Abbington Place. However, things did not go as planned, according to Fox 32 News.
Kelly Dano, who was on the party bus that Madison was driving, stated that it was a frightening experience. “It was a little sketchy from the beginning, but no one thought anything of it until he pulled out of the subdivision. He hopped over a median and cut off three cars and then he took us to the wrong hotel. He took us to the Hyatt Hotel instead of Abbington Place so we had five more miles to go,” she described.
Authorities stated that some students called their parents, who contacted Oswego Police Officers. Madison then dropped the students off at Abbington Banquets, which was not where their prom was being held. At that point, the authorities questioned Madison and contacted the DuPage County Sheriff, who arrested Madison.
Many parents were outraged and shaken after the night’s events. Lori Dano told Fox 32 News that “That’s why parents provide limos, so that they’re safe and don’t have to worry about them driving an hour away by themselves, and then this happens.” Other parents also added that they intend to warn others to do more investigating before allowing their teens to get in a limo or party bus.
Despite that Madison’s blood alcohol level was almost three times over the legal limit, he plans on pleading not guilty. Madison was charged with two counts of driving under the influence and reckless conduct, but he claims his dangerous driving was due to vehicle issues. According to the Chicago Sun Times, Madison believed that his bus’s wheels needed to be realigned. He posted bail on Saturday night and said, “You know, if I was guilty, I would still be in jail. That’s my thought. I would not be at home right now.”
However, an official from Limos Alive announced that the bus had previously underwent an inspection and no issues were found. A salesman for Limos Alive, Dave Kebbie, added that Madison was fired after his DUI charge.
Limos Alive reached out to all of the parents of the students involved and provided them with full refunds and certificates for free limousine rentals.
“We try to go above and beyond. We don’t expect anything like this to happen,” Kebbie told the Chicago Sun Times.