CHICAGO -- Former Olympic diver Bruce Kimball no longer is a threat to public safety and will be allowed to receive a new driver's license, Illinois officials said, ignoring a Florida judge's ruling that Kimball never be allowed to drive again after killing two teenagers while driving drunk more than a decade ago.
The Illinois Secretary of State's office determined earlier this month that Kimball, who lives in a Chicago suburb, should be allowed to receive a license, said Jay Mesi, the office's deputy director of administrative hearings.
The ruling overturned a 2002 decision that prohibited the 1984 Olympic silver medalist from getting an Illinois license. Kimball appealed that ruling, a final hearing was held Oct. 25 and the decision was mailed to him Dec. 13.
"He submitted documentation that the underlying cause of the problem had been resolved," Mesi said Wednesday. "He does not endanger public safety and welfare."
Kimball has not yet received a driver's license, Mesi said.
Reached by phone at his Evanston home, Kimball declined to comment. His attorney, Larry David, also would not comment Wednesday except to say he agreed that Kimball was not a threat to public safety.
On Aug. 1, 1988, after consuming a dozen beers in just two hours, Kimball sped down a dark road in rural Hillsborough County, Fla. He missed a turn and crashed through a crowd of young people partying at a popular night spot.
Nineteen-year-old Robbie Bedell and 16-year-old Kevin Gossic died at the scene, and three others were seriously injured.
Kimball's blood alcohol registered 0.20, twice the legal limit, and police estimated he'd been traveling at between 70 mph and 90 mph at the time he lost control of the vehicle.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of drunken driving-manslaughter and three counts of drunken driving in an accident with serious injuries. A judge sentenced him in 1989 to 17 years in prison and permanently suspended his driver's license.
He was paroled in 1993 after less than five years in prison and now teaches and coaches diving at a suburban public school.