Driver in Pontoon Beach crash: 'How many people did I kill?'

BY BRIAN BRUEGGEMANN - News-Democrat

EDWARDSVILLE, IL -- A Granite City man accused of driving drunk in a crash that killed a young couple and their unborn child asked police at the scene to tell him how many people were dead.

Illinois State Police Special Agent Kelly Cullen, in an affidavit filed Tuesday, said Donald W. Canterbery was being treated in an ambulance when he asked a State Police trooper: "How many people did I kill?"

Canterbery has been charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI in connection with the Feb. 21 crash in Pontoon Beach. He is accused of smashing his Corvette into the rear of vehicle driven by Lindsey Arnold-Zimmer, 24, who was five months pregnant. Arnold-Zimmer was killed along with her husband, 26-year-old Adam Zimmer. Police say Canterbery, who has multiple prior DUI arrests, was driving drunk.



Cullen stated in the affidavit that Canterbery agreed to submit to a portable breath test in the ambulance, and it revealed a blood-alcohol level of .191 percent -- more than double the .08 percent threshold at which a driver is considered intoxicated in Illinois.

Filed along with the agent's affidavit is a list of items seized by police from Canterbery's 2006 Chevrolet Corvette as evidentiary items: a device that records crash data and documents regarding the car's ownership and insurance.

Canterbery bought the car from a Granite City dealership the day before the crash. Investigators from the Illinois Secretary of State Police are looking into how he got a temporary license plate on the sports car.

A secretary of state form that the dealership filled out for the temporary plate lists an invalid driver's license number for Canterbery. It also lists his address as 4100 Nameoki Road in Granite City -- the same address as the car dealership.

On Friday, Secretary of State Jesse White's office sent an investigator to the dealership and suspended its ability to issue temporary license plates.

Arnold-Zimmer was driving south on Illinois 111 near Pontoon Beach about 4:20 p.m. Feb. 21, a Saturday. Police said Canterbery's speeding Corvette rammed into the rear of her vehicle. Arnold-Zimmer lost control of her vehicle and veered across the center line, where her car was hit head-on by a northbound pickup truck.

Canterbery is being held in the Madison County Jail without bail.

In January, Canterbery received a sentence of probation for driving drunk in 2006 in Granite City. Records show that he had four previous DUI arrests in other states -- from 1988 to 1997.

In 2006, Canterbery filed a medical malpractice suit against a surgeon and a hospital, alleging he lost mobility and much of the body mass in one of his legs after he had a non-malignant lump removed from his groin. In December, the parties informed the court that they had reached a settlement agreement. Although the amount of the settlement is not disclosed, acquaintances of Canterbery have said he expected to get millions of dollars.

Contact reporter Brian Brueggemann at bbrueggemann@bnd.com or 692-9481.