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Unlicensed Drivers, Deadly Accidents

Updated: Tuesday, July 1 2014, 10:14 AM CDT

"I didn't know that she didn't have a license. We did not know that she did not have a license," Cassandra Smith said.

We spoke with her in 2012, months after her twin sister Amanda Smith was killed in a car accident.

In August the twins were passengers in a car driven by drunk driver Amber Kline.

"It hurts. I mean you don't think you're going to lose your kid and when it happens-- you know," mother of the twins Kathy Harris said.

Amanda Smith left behind two kids. Kline, who was driving on a suspended license, was sentenced to nine years in prison.

"The reason these people are either license revoked or suspended is because they're not very good drivers," Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp said.

The numbers speak for themselves. The Illinois Department of Transportation online database goes back to 2011. In it, suspended, revoked, expired, cancelled, denied, and unlicensed drivers are all lumped together. Some of those bad drivers are linked to all but 10 of the 363 fatal crashes in the state so far this year.

"It doesn't surprise me. I mean-- we see it all the time. We're dealing with the same repeaters over and over and over," Kettelkamp said.

Prior to her arrest, Amber Kline had a record of driving infractions going back to 2007. She is behind bars now where Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says is the best place for Kline and others like her.

"When they're in jail, they're not out driving in the streets, and they're not going to hurt anybody when they're here in jail. Unfortunately, we're running out of room," Kettelkamp said.

Unlicensed Drivers, Deadly Accidents


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