Huntley man facing aggravated DUI charge after fatal Sun City crash appears in court

By JORDYN REILAND - jreiland@shawmedia.com Published: Saturday, June 17, 2017 12:07 a.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – An 84-year-old Huntley man facing aggravated drunken driving charges after he allegedly killed a Sun City woman by crashing into her house appeared in court Friday.

Donald F. Helfer, of the 1200 block of Black Oak Trail, faces four counts of aggravated driving under the influence. He could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted of both charges. Helfer has denied all charges and remains out of jail on bond.

Helfer, dressed in a white shirt and black pants, appeared in court with family members.

His case was continued to July 14 as discussions continue between prosecution and defense.

Prosecutors claim Helfer was drunk when he drove his 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis over a berm on the evening of Feb. 4 and crashed into the bedroom of John and Mary Ann Arneson’s home. Mary Ann Arneson died April 9 from her injuries.

The Arnesons had been married 55 years. Mary Ann, 75, was a teacher for 28 years, a member of several book and card clubs and was an active member at Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church, where she sang in the choir and volunteered.

Work has been completed at the intersection of Del Webb Boulevard and Hemmer Road to decrease the likelihood of another car driving over the berm at the three-way stop, village officials said.