Wrong-way drunk driver sentenced to 20 years in prison

Hit woman and two children
Posted at 4:21 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 19:14:01-04

The man who hit a woman and two children in the Marquette interchange in June 2016 will spend 20 years in prison.

Chaze Biami, 37, was drunk when he enteredI-43 North going the wrong-direction on June 19, 2016. His breathalyzer test indicated a .149 blood alcohol content.

The woman he hit was initially found without a pulse and not breathing after being ejected from her vehicle. She was later resuscitated and taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

In court for Biami's sentencing hearing Friday, the prosecutor explained many of her joints are now held together with metal plates, which her body is not agreeing with. Her daughter, now 5, is a paraplegic who will live the rest of her life in a wheelchair.

"I'll never be able to play soccer  with my kid again, I'll never get to see her walk down an aisle when she got married," said Brandon Mathews, the child's father and the driver's husband.

The other child in the car with them, now 4, had a spinal fusion as a result of the accident.

"She is going to need more surgery," said Kristen Oakley of her daughter. Oakley asked the judge to give Biami the maximum sentence for his charges, which would have been 96 years.

The two vehicles collided at approximately 4:30 a.m. on I-43 North near Wells Street. The freeway was closed for about three hours while authorities investigated.

"This is the result of what happens when you get behind the wheel of a vehicle and you essentially turn it into a weapon," said Francesco Mineo, the prosecutor said in court Friday.

Biami expressed remorse in court.

"It shouldn't have ever happened. And I just hate that I woke up in that car and tried to go home," Biami said.

The mother of four of his six children said he ruined many lives, even beyond those he injured. Now, Biami wants to use his experience to stop others from making the same mistake. In court he mentioned working with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

"It doesn't take two, three, four times for you to get yourself in a situation to where you lose everything and you almost kill and you hurt somebody. It can happen in one time," he said.

Still Judge Dennis Cimple said this ranked among his most severe cases.

"I did a year in homicides and I know what happened up there, I recall the injuries in some of the cases I had, this is the worst. You turned a 5-year-old into a paraplegic," he said addressing Biami.

Biami had 24 previous driving-without-a-license incidents on his record, including this one.


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