A 57-year-old woman has been ordered to perform community service work and attend a school for inebriated drivers, for crashing her car into the front of a health and fitness center on Naperville’s far southwest side last summer while drunk.
Ruth M. Erdemir, of the 2200 block of Stowe Circle in the Stillwater area of Naperville, pleaded guilty in DuPage County Circuit Court to a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol. A second count of DUI was dismissed in exchange for her plea, according to court records.
Erdemir suffered minor injuries in the crash that occurred about 4:25 p.m. Sept. 12 at Midwest Fit Club, 5019 Ace Lane, near the southwest corner of 111th Street and Route 59.
Judge James J. Konetski accepted Erdemir’s plea and on Tuesday ordered her to perform 100 hours of public service work as part of her penalty, court records indicated. Konetski also placed Erdemir on 18 months of supervision, ordered her to attend “DUI school” and assessed unspecified fines and court costs, records showed.
Erdemir had no prior record in DuPage County or Will County.
Naperville Police Cmdr. Lou Cammiso in September said Erdemir was apparently trying to park her car in a space outside the health club when she “hit the gas (pedal) instead of the brake.” The black, four-door Mercedes S 500 Erdemir was driving slammed into a red brick pillar near the club’s main door and came to a halt within inches of the windows, where exercise equipment is located.
The car’s airbags deployed during the crash. The Mercedes sustained significant front-end damage.
Naperville Fire Department paramedics took Erdemir to Edward Hospital in Naperville for treatment of what proved to be non-life-threatening injuries. Cammiso said it was determined Erdemir was under the influence of alcohol during the ambulance ride or at the hospital.
The crash marked the second time in less than two years that an out-of-control vehicle had struck the building.
The first occurred the afternoon of Dec. 14, 2011, when a Cardinal Fitness center was in business there. In that matter, police said an 80-year-old Naperville woman mistook the accelerator of her BMW 325i sedan for its brake.
Police in 2011 said the BMW’s front end shattered two large, plate glass windows and came to a stop after striking and displacing several treadmills and other pieces of equipment arranged in a row parallel to the windows. Shards of glass went flying into the club and onto the floor.
Several patrons and employees were inside the building at the time. All of them escaped injury.