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Skokie driver was high when crash killed child

A Skokie woman with a history of drug possession and other charges has been blamed for a fatal car accident that killed a child. Police say the 23-year-old driver was high on amphetamines and marijuana at the time of the May car crash.

Official reports say a 9-year-old boy was riding a bicycle along the sidewalk at the corner of St. Louis Avenue and Main Street. The child became the final link in a chain reaction crash at the village intersection.

The accused had just completed her work at a Greek restaurant the afternoon of May 22. As the woman driver attempted to make a left turn onto Main Street, her car struck a van and spun out of control. The car rotated across the median and onto a sidewalk, where the boy was riding.

The car shoved the child and his bike across St. Louis Avenue into a parked car. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene.

A grand jury indictment charged the woman driver with aggravated DUI resulting in death, a felony, and driving under the influence of drugs, a misdemeanor. A Cook County court ordered a $250,000 bond and sent the woman to jail.

Formal charges will be lodged at a July 9 hearing.

This is the driver's second drug charge since last year. Records said the defendant was picked up in March 2011 for marijuana possession, a property damage charge and two traffic violations.

A missed court hearing led to an arrest warrant. The woman later pleaded guilty to the charges and was placed under three months of court supervision. A $325 fine and mandatory community service were ordered.

It is no accident when a driver makes a decision to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or using drugs. Proven impairment while driving is a serious crime. Family members of accident victims can sue drugged drivers in civil court for pain and suffering and wrongful death.

Source: articles.chicagotribune.com, "Woman indicted in Skokie crash that killed boy, 9, riding his bike," Brian L. Cox, June 21, 2012

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