Highland Park police awaiting crime lab results in curb-jumping crash that killed girl
BY KAREN BERKOWITZ | firstname.lastname@example.org September 4, 2012 5:48PM
5-year-old Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento was killed when a car jumped the curb and hit her, her mother and her two young brothers Monday afternoon in north suburban Highland Park. | Courtesy NBC5
Updated: September 4, 2012 5:48PM
Highland Park police investigating the death of a 5-year-old girl hit by a Lexus when it jumped a curb said they’re awaiting results from the state crime lab to see if the teen driver was impaired.
Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento, who had just started kindergarten, was killed in the Labor Day accident near her home. Her mother, Modesto Sacramento-Jiminez, 25, and younger brothers, Daniel, 4, and Juan Carlitos, 2, were hit but survived.
A Lexus coupe driven by an 18-year-old woman headed east on Central Avenue when it crossed the westbound lanes, left the road and hit the family.
Police said they want to hear back from the crime lab before presenting any case to prosecutors.
The Rev. Thomas Balbonieri of St. James Church in Highwood was summoned to meet with grieving family members at the hospital.
“This is really going to be such a tremendous loss for them,” said Balbonieri. “Their faith needs to be strong at this time. I know they have a lot of friends and family members present with them. They were just kind of trying to deal with it as best they can.”
A memorial fund has been established for the Santos Sacramento family at http://indiegogo.com/indiantrailmemorialfund.
“Jaclyn was smart and loving and brought joy to all those around her,” noted Jessica Millen, a co-president of the Indian Trail Parent-Teacher Organization.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering also has asked the Emergency Relief Task Force to convene Tuesday to consider helping the victim’s family pay for medical and bereavement expenses.
The accident investigation is being conducted by the Highland Park Police Accident Investigation Team and the Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team, in collaboration with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office.
The girl’s father, Tomas Santos de Jesus, said he was at work when his wife and their three young children were hit not far from home on the 900 block of Deerfield Road in Highland Park, where they have lived for the past eight years.
“I want to explain the law to the person who hit them,” said de Jesus, speaking in Spanish between sobs.
Said Rotering after the tragedy, “Our hearts go out to everyone involved. This accident is a parent’s worst nightmare and has created a devastating loss.”