A Caseyville teenager was days away from her 19th birthday with multiple reasons to celebrate. She leased an apartment and purchased a vehicle just before the start of her first full-time job. The Illinois teen's transition to adulthood was cut short when she became the victim of a fatal crash.
Fairmont City, Illinois, police said the young woman was involved in a deadly chase involving two cars. Reports were not clear whether the victim was a driver or a passenger at the time of the fatal accident.
The chase began as an argument over marijuana. The victim's mother said she received text messages before the accident that her daughter was with a group of people who was robbed.
The group apparently decided to chase the "robbers" by car. The vehicles pulled into a Collinsville parking lot where another confrontation took place. A gun appeared. The pursued driver, identified later as a convicted felon, turned the tables and suddenly became the pursuer.
Witnesses told police the vehicles raced at speeds exceeding 100 mph. Police believe the convicted felon initiated the accident, forcing the lead car to flip. The 18-year-old victim was thrown from the vehicle and crushed in the rollover.
Officials say the man they want fled on foot. According to records, the suspect was under supervision following a 2007 indictment. The man and his father had been charged with trying to make a cocaine deal using a weapon and bulletproof vests stolen from a U.S. Marshal.
The suspect remains at large. Police indicated the man, once apprehended, may not be the only person involved in the crash to face criminal charges and penalties.
Authorities may have clear proof of wrong doing but cannot pursue criminal justice without identifying and capturing the suspect. A civil action for wrongful death also would be incomplete without the ability to engage a full list of potentially negligent defendants.
Source: fox2now.com, "Argument Over Missing Pot Leads To Crash That Kills Teen" Chris Regnier and George Sells, Apr. 29, 2013