No Charges Yet in Highland Park Fatal Accident

Five-year-old Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento was hit and killed by a vehicle driven by an 18-year-old Highland Park woman in the 700 block of Central Ave. Police say the investigation into the incident is not yet complete.


No charges have been filed in the accident that killed a five-year-old girl as she walked with her mother and two younger brothers in Highland Park on Labor Day.

The Lexus Coupe involved in the accident, driven by an 18-year-old Highland Park woman, left the roadway at 2:30 p.m. Monday and hit the family walking on the sidewalk in the 700 block of Central Ave. 

Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento was killed, while her mother Modesta Sacramento and younger brothers, two and four years of age, escaped with non-life threatening injuries.

Both boys were treated and released from the hospital, but Modesta Sacramento remains hospitalized, according to a press release from the Highland Park police. 

Highland Park Deputy Chief George Pfutzenreuter said it is premature to come to any conclusions yet in the case.  

The department is currently working with the Lake County Major Crash Team to process the vehicle, and to determine if driver impairment was a factor in the crash, according to the release.

The release went on to say both law enforcement agencies are working in collaboration with the Lake County State's Attorney's Office. 

The driver, whose name has not yet been released, was the only occupant in the car. At the time of the crash she was travelling eastbound on Central Ave. before crossing the westbound lanes and striking the family as they walked on the sidewalk. 

At the direction of the Lake County State's Attorney's Office, the release states that charges have not been filed, pending investigation results and state crime lab analysis. 

M. Davis September 05, 2012 at 01:40 PM
You need to change your graphic. The accident occurred in frony of Sunset Foods, not at the corner of Central Avenue and Second Street. Has the author of this article ever been to Highland Park?
Ann Limoges September 05, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Why is it taking so long to file charges in this case? Will this driver be prosecuted? Will the owners of the vehicle be prosecuted?--Ann LImoges
Ed Brill September 05, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I'll ask this as question because I truly don't know how these situations work. Couldn't the driver of the car voluntarily turn themselves in *if* there was in fact a violation of the law as a factor in this situation? I'm guessing lawyers would get in the way of that, but it seems like it would be a way for the community to start to heal.
Steve S. September 05, 2012 at 03:29 PM
In the triblocal article, a witness is quoted as saying the female got out of the car after the accident and said repeatedly, " I did it, I did it". Let's say there are no reckless homicide charges, what about all of the traffic violations that should have been given at the scene? Why isn't this printed with her name in the blotter like everyone else? People need this information to begin healing. And yes, no lawyer would ever allow her to turn herself in prior to being charged with anything.
Helen September 05, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I have lived in HPK for 55 years and I have seen alot of changes to the town. Years ago our neighbors were out neighbors. We didn't put up fences in between our houses, we got along. We didn't cut a person off on the road to get a parking spot, we gave them the go ahead with a smile. We held doors for people, our even let them enter before we did. Where has the respect gone? My heart aches for this family,and I have been praying for them everyday. As a community it would be a blessing if we all came together for this family, to show them that we do care about them. Instead of going out for dinner one night,buying that clothing you don't really need at the moment, or buying something frivolous, if all of us made a donation to tis family, I think the money would be better well spent. It's time for us to open our hearts and show them we care.this could have been any of your children or grandchildren. Let's give them our support not only emotionally but financially. Every little bit will help them.
Stu Pidasso September 05, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Ed, it's an 18 year old girl who is probably scared out of her mind realizing she could go to prison for any length of time. Everyone handles stress differently. I agree there should be more communication from the PD to keep our citizens informed as to what process there may be before charges are filed. Was she let out on some sort of bond? Who knows? Someone who is caught driving on a suspended license is handcuffed,led away and must post bond to get out!! that is what happens by just getting stopped, let alone hitting someone!!
Miriam Kelm September 05, 2012 at 04:32 PM
It happened where stated. Directly across the street from the Clark gas station, not in front of Sunset. There now is a memorial in place for Jaclyn where it happened.
M. Davis September 05, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Sunset Foods and Clark Oil are across the street from one another Ms. Kelm. The intersection of Second Street and Central Avenue is two blocks to the east. Change the graphic. A hyperlocal journalist such as Ms. Santostefano should be concerned with the accuracy of her entire article. Online journalism is worthless unless it is held to the same standard as print journalism.
Jack Weissman September 05, 2012 at 07:26 PM
18 is considered an adult by law, this adult needs to be made public...
JD September 05, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Thank you, Helen, for your comment. It is not about exactly where this happened, or finding out every detail. It is about a community coming together to help this family heal. They say "it takes a village," and now is our chance to prove that this is true. Let's all lend a hand and help the family in any way we can.
John Born September 05, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Her name is CARLY ROUSSO.
Really? September 05, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Exactly, Jack! Enough holding this woman's name secret. By any standard, her name should have been reported. Why has it not? Where is she? If she were Latino or Black or Poor, we would for sure know it!
Violet Flemenbaum September 06, 2012 at 01:39 AM
According to NBC5, Miss Rousso is being charged with driving under the influence. Additional charges are expected as soon as bloodwork results come back.
lexie perez September 06, 2012 at 02:14 AM
I was there the day of the accident. It was right in front of sunset and next to the BP gas station. I saw the 3 ambulances take the family away to the hospital just a few blocks down sunset ave. My prayers go out to the family cause who knows. It could have been me and one of my 4 kids. and as fire the driver, I don't care what any lawyer says. She drove over a curb and into the sidewalk killing a5 year old girl and ripped a family apart. she needs to turn herself in regardless. Her parents should not be hiding her from the trouble she gotten herself into. Whether she was drunk or texting and driving. There is no way to run a car up on that sidewalk without some sort of impairment on the drivers part.
CJ September 06, 2012 at 03:02 AM
She is from a well connected HP family apparently, David and Gabrielle Rousso perhaps? A brief google/linkedn/myspace/twitter search( yeah it was brief) suggests they are involved in the HP chamber of commerce and an art center in HP. He is a CEO of some data biz, mom is involved in the North Shore Jewish community. Carly refers to drunk driving class and watching a show in which the protagonists "didn't know what a real bad girl is." She also remarks about how $20 can mean so much to some people or something to that effect clearly demarcating her social status. Per an online search she lives in an over 1 million dollar home with her 'rents
soccermom72 September 07, 2012 at 02:54 PM
The driver should be behind bars like any one else who hits a pedestrian. Race is playing a major factor here. I hope the family sues the pants off her and she's put behind bars for her crime. If it were the other way around I'm 110% sure the hispanic person would not be out on bond or walking around. It make's me sick to read this article.


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