PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The trial of a man accused of having meth and cocaine in his body when he was involved in a car crash that killed a 22-year-old woman almost two years ago will take place next month.
Christopher G. Clayton, 32, was to go to trial on Monday in the courtroom of Peoria County Circuit Judge John Vespa but his attorney sought a continuance. The trial is now set for July 17.
There will be a review hearing on June 22.
Clayton was charged more than a year after the Hyundai Elantra he was driving on Aug. 16, 2021, collided with a pickup truck in South Peoria.
Killed was Ashley Gase of Pekin who was in the Elantra’s back seat. Three others went to the hospital.
Clayton was indicted last fall for allegedly having methamphetamine and cocaine in his body when the fatal accident happened. The 32-year-old was charged with aggravated DUI, a felony that could send him to prison for up to 14 years.
Peoria police responded to the intersection Southwest Washington and Edmund Street just before 4:30 a.m. that day on a report of a two-vehicle crash.
Rescue workers used the “jaws of life” to cut open the sedan to remove Clayton and another man. Both were seriously injured. The pickup truck driver suffered minor injuries and was also taken to an area hospital, according to court records and police.