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Illinois police: Gurnee teen died during street race gone wrong

Aggravated street racing charges were recently brought against two Antioch teens. Gurnee police said the 17- and 19-year-old males were speeding side-by-side on Illinois Highway 120 when the younger driver lost control of his vehicle.

A 16-year-old back seat passenger was thrown from the car as the vehicle rolled into a ditch. The girl died in the fatal crash. At least one of two other passengers in the same car was hospitalized with unidentified injuries.

Both drivers were jailed after the nighttime accident.

The driver whose passenger was killed faces additional charges for reckless homicide and uninsured, unlicensed driving. Initial reports did not say whether alcohol or drug use was suspected. Witness interviews are still being conducted.

The victim's parents said their daughter treated one of the accused racers as her "big brother." The older driver apparently lived and vacationed with the victim's family during a tumultuous period before graduating high school.

An aunt described the girl as a "typical teenager" with dreams of joining the military after graduation. Rather than celebrating the teen's milestones, the victim's parents and siblings must endure the heartache of loss along with expenses surrounding their youngest family member's death.

Few parents believe they will outlive their children. Even when final medical costs are covered by insurance, many parents are unprepared for the costs of a funeral and burial for a child. Family members - brothers and sisters included - forfeit the future companionship of a loved one. The emotional cost is not having the chance to know a child or sister as she grows in to adulthood.

Illinois civil courts consider the pain and suffering of a victim's immediate family during wrongful death claims. A court will order a negligent defendant to pay damages for financial and emotional harm.

Not all Cook County wrongful death lawsuits are resolved by juries. Many liability cases are settled with out-of-court agreements.

Source:, "Parents of teen killed in race say they had helped 1 of men charged in fatal crash" Lisa Black, Jun. 27, 2013

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