The Clinton County man who tried to destroy his pickup truck after he struck and killed an Edwardsville woman in Breese in June 2014 reported to the Clinton County Jail Monday evening to begin a six-month sentence.
Jonathon Nast, 26, of Damiansville was sentenced in September to 180 days in jail for the incident that killed Lana Albert, who was 23. He arrived at the Clinton County Jail around 5:45 p.m.
Nast initially faced two charges: Failure to report a fatal accident and obstructing justice. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed the charge of failing to report the accident, which carried a prison term of 15 years. The case did not go to trial.
Nast’s six-month jail term could be trimmed to just 90 days for good behavior. He must pay a $2,500 fine and court costs.
Nast’s attorney, Joseph B. Heiligenstein, declined comment Monday.
Around 2 a.m. on June 8, 2014, police say Albert was walking along old U.S. 50 near the Big Stix bar in Breese when she was struck by the truck driven by Nast. Police found Albert’s body in a ditch near the road shortly after locating one of her shoes.
Both Nast and Albert had been in Big Stix. Toxicology test results showed Albert’s blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was 0.26, more than three times the legal limit.
Nast is not charged with being drunk when the crash occurred because by the time police arrested him, they could not test what his blood alcohol content was at the time of the crash. He was arrested June 10 after attempting to have his truck crushed at a Murphysboro salvage yard.
Albert’s family in September described the months following her death as “pure hell” and said taking the case to trial would have been difficult.
“I don’t think we could have went through a trial,” Lana Albert’s father, Ray Albert, said at the time. “Mr. Nast is a young man. This is just my feelings, but I didn’t want to ruin another life. I think he needed some jail time to think about what he did, but I don’t know, I didn’t want him to go to prison.”
Heiligenstein said in September that Nast initially didn’t think he’d hit someone.
“He knew he struck an object. He thought it was an animal. He wasn’t certain,” Heiligenstein said. He said Nast realized he’d hit a person only after seeing news accounts of Albert’s death.
“At that point he made a mistake,” Heiligenstein said at the time. “Instead of going to authorities, which he wishes he would have done, he decided to try to get rid of his truck.”
In an apology Nast read in open court, he said he couldn’t apologize enough.
“I should have spoken with the authorities as soon as I heard it all over the media. I’m sorry for my actions on June 10th for trying to get rid of my vehicle and I’m willing to accept the punishment,” Nast said.