November 26, 2008 was a normal enough day. The Jahn children, four year-old
Ryan and 11 month-old Kaitlyn visited with their grandparents while their
mother, 27 year-old Amanda Jahn, taught a violin lesson in Morris. Their route
home that evening was Illinois-47 south from Morris. They would never make
it. At that same time, Ann Marie Getz, was careening toward them with a blood
alcohol content twice the legal limit. She would ignore the stop sign where the
Gardner Blacktop intersects Route 47, t-boning the car carrying Amanda and
her children sending it spinning and rolling into an adjacent cornfield. Joshua
Jahn, Amanda’s husband of nearly eight years and father of the children was a
volunteer firefighter. He first heard of the crash over his emergency scanner.
Fearing the worst, he drove to the scene. He arrived in time to see his son
being loaded into an ambulance.
The crash was horrific. The children, despite being in child safety seats, were
both ejected from the car. Amanda was pinned inside and had to be extricated.
She was pronounced dead at the scene from massive internal injuries. The
children, who also suffered extreme internal injuries, were pronounced dead at
the hospital after resuscitation efforts failed.
The crash and charges made the AP Newswire and Chicago Tribune headlines
when it was discovered that Getz had a valid driver’s license despite having
two prior DUI convictions in the early 2000’s and a variety of other traffic
violations going back 20 years. This case became a call for stricter penalties
for repeat DUI offenders.
Information contained in this
newsletter is a matter of public
record. Individuals charged with
criminal offenses are presumed
innocent until proven guilty in a
court of law.
Division of Traffic Safety
1340 North 9th Street
Springfield, IL 62702
The jahn story