The past year has been filled with many stories of tragic deaths. But one in particular stands out in Highland Park, Illinois: the death of a 5-year-old girl. Her passing was reportedly caused by an 18-year-old driver on Labor Day and authorities believe the teenager behind the wheel of the vehicle was under the influence of an intoxicating compound.
The car accident occurred near Green Bay Road on Central Avenue when the young girl was walking with her two younger brothers and her mother. According to reports, the 18-year-old female driver lost control of a Lexus Coupe. Police said that the driver was heading east on Central Avenue when it suddenly crossed into the westbound lanes and onto the sidewalk where the family of pedestrians were walking. All four were hit by the vehicle.
After the initial collision, reports suggest that at least one of them was hit again when the 18-year-old put the vehicle into reverse and backed into the family. She then began to move forward again but the vehicle was stopped when a nearby witness reached into the car and shifted it into park. Authorities arrived on the scene and found computer dust cleaner in the vehicle. The driver's blood was tested and a compound matching the canister of cleaner showed up.
Due to the results of the test, the 18-year-old was charged with four counts of aggravated driving under the influence of an intoxicating compound-specifically, difluoroethane. She was also charged with one count of reckless homicide.
Days after the incident, many people were still mourning the death of the 5-year-old girl. Hundreds of those mourners marched from the Highwood train station to the location of the accident in the 700 block of Central Avenue. Many described the young girl as full of joy and said that she liked dressing in the color pink.
Source: Highland Park News, "5-year-old's death tops 2012 news stories," Karen Berkowitz, Dec. 27, 2012