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Prosecutors: Man Was High On Heroin When He Struck, Killed 11-Year-Old Boy

Benjamin Black is accused of being high on heroin when his car struck and killed an 11-year-old boy in February. (Credit: Kane County State's Attorney)

Benjamin Black is accused of being high on heroin when his car struck and killed an 11-year-old boy in February. (Credit: Kane County State’s Attorney)

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ST. CHARLES, Ill. (STMW) – A west suburban man has been charged with being under the influence of heroin when the car he was driving plowed into the rear of a second car, killing an 11-year-old boy in February.

Benjamin J. Black, 28, of the 1500 block of Sparkhayes Drive in Sycamore, has been charged with three counts of aggravated DUI, according to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office. He was also cited for operating an uninsured vehicle and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

According to the state’s attorney’s office, Black had a controlled substance in his body when his vehicle he crashed into the car in which 11-year-old Matthew Ranken of Sycamore was a backseat passenger. The boy was killed and a passenger in the front seat was severely injured.

According to the Kane County Sheriff’s office, the crash occurred about 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 on Route 64 in western Kane County. Black was driving a 1999 Ford Expedition westbound on Route 64. Ranken was in a 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier, which was stopped, along with other vehicles, because of a crash farther west on Route 64.

Prosecutors said a laboratory analysis found heroin metabolites in Black’s urine sample, which was taken immediately after the crash, the release said.

A warrant was issued on Monday, and he appeared in court in St. Charles on Tuesday morning, when Associate Judge William Parkhurst set bond at $250,000, the release said. His next court appearance is 9 a.m. Thursday in front of Circuit Judge James C. Hallock.

If convicted of the most serious offense, Black faces up to 14 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)