Justice is not moving swiftly enough for the mayor of Highland Park. The official is accusing prosecutors in Lake County of improprieties in the investigation of a pedestrian accident that took the life of a 5-year-old child on Labor Day.
Drunk driving charges were brought against an 18-year-old driver who reportedly struck the girl and three family members as they were crossing the street. The Illinois mayor was shocked that the accused teenager was released with no restrictions in advance of a court date later this month.
Police reports say the child, two brothers – ages four and two – and the children’s mother were hit by a Lexus. The boys and their mother survived with less-than-serious injuries. The accused drunk driver was treated for injuries and released.
The teen was observed driving erratically just before the pedestrian crash. The young driver appeared to pass out for a short time as she was being interviewed by police following the accident, according to witnesses.
Prosecutors countered the mayor’s criticism with an update. Attorneys are waiting for toxicology test results before adding further charges. The mayor called the attorneys’ decision to free the defendant a mistake.
A fund has been established to help the family cover costs associated with the accident, which could include sizeable medical bills and burial costs for the child. The family may also choose to take legal action against the alleged drunk driver.
A liability case may help the surviving victims recover financially for the harm that has changed the family forever financially and emotionally.
The mother may need time to recover from injuries, deal personally with her daughter’s death and help her sons adjust to the devastating change in their lives. That could require the parent to forego important family income for an indefinite time.
Courts do provide an avenue for victims of negligence. Money allows them to move forward, even if the court cannot undo the loss of a loved one.
Source: chicago.cbslocal.com, “Mayor “Frustrated” By Investigation Of Crash That Killed 5-Year-Old Girl,” Sept. 5, 2012