Naperville man who killed 3 in 122-mph drunk driving crash gets 18-year prison term

A 24-year-old Naperville man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to driving drunk and causing a crash so violent that not only three people were killed but the vehicle he struck was sliced in half, prosecutors said.

Brendan Wydajewski was driving 122 mph with a blood alcohol content of .147, nearly twice the legal limit, about 1:15 a.m. Oct. 30, 2021, when he slammed into a car driven by 46-year-old Andrew Purtill at Warrenville Road and Corporate West Drive in Lisle, a DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office news release said.

Purtill, an Aurora resident pronounced dead at the scene, was in the driver’s side of his vehicle on Warrenville Road while the other half went off the road to the north, the release said.

Wydajewski’s passengers Graciela Leanos, 21, of Shorewood, and Geovanny Alvarez, 22, of Waukegan, also were killed in the crash. Alvarez was declared dead at the scene and Leanos taken to a hospital in Downers Grove, where she later died, the report said.

Wydajewski was seriously injured after being thrown from his vehicle and hospitalized for nearly a month, officials said. Lisle officers also found two handguns in Wydajewski’s vehicle, according to the police report.

Wydajewski was charged with three felony counts of aggravated driving under the influence causing death and misdemeanor counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and transportation or possession of open alcohol.

He pleaded guilty to the three aggravated DUI counts in exchange for the other charges being dropped and the 18-year prison term in a deal accepted by DuPage County Judge Ann Celine O’Hallaren Walsh.

“Like all DUI cases, the case against Mr. Wydajewski was 100% avoidable,” State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement. “Because of Mr. Wydajewski’s reckless actions, the lives of Andrew Purtill, Graciela Leanos and Geovanny Alvarez have been reduced to a statistic and a tragic reminder of the deadly consequences of drinking and driving.”

Wydajewski will be required to serve 85% of his sentence before being eligible for parole.