St. Clair man charged with killing two in wrong-way crash releas - KMOV.com

St. Clair man charged with killing two in wrong-way crash released from jail due to medical condition

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A Metro East family is furious that a man charged with killing two people in a DUI crash is out of jail.  (Credit: Belleville PD) A Metro East family is furious that a man charged with killing two people in a DUI crash is out of jail. (Credit: Belleville PD)

(KMOV.com) – The family of two men killed in a wrong-way crash is furious after the man charged with their deaths was released from jail.

Kevin Helfrich, 54, was released from prison with an ankle monitor Tuesday after a judge ruled the jail was not providing proper medical care.

Police say Helfrich was driving the wrong way on Illinois Route 15 in July when he crashed head on into the car with John Bannister and Daryl Harton inside.

Bannister and Harton who were celebrating their anniversary were killed. Helfrich was charged with reckless homicide and DUI. It was his 5th DUI charge. In the past, a paperwork error allowed him to get a valid license.

Tonight the family of the victim’s say the justice system is once again family them.

Helfrich was released from jail due to his medical condition. He suffered serious injuries in the crash and requires a lot of medical attention.

“It’s the jails job to ensure he gets to his appointments, its unacceptable that they have failed to do their job and as a result he gets to go home,” said Julie Freeman, the sister of John and Daryl.

According to a spokesperson for the St. Clair County Jail, Helfrich had numerous medical issues and his level of care required a lot of staffing. They said some appointments were missed due to confusion.

State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said they fought against Helfrich’s release but understand why the judge made his decision.

“The justice system failed to take this guy’s license during his numerous other offences and allowed him to kill my brothers. And they are failing again,” said Freeman.

While Helfrich is legally not allowed, News4 is working to find out if he is physically capable of getting behind the wheel.

Helfrich is only allowed to leave his house for medical appointments. His next court appearance is December 4.

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