Teen Charged in September Crash
A single-vehicle crash in September that killed a southwest suburban teen "has resulted in criminal charges against the driver, who was 16 at the time," according to the Chicago Tribune.
The teen driver, now 17, has been charged with reckless homicide, aggravated reckless driving, and reckless driving for the crash that killed Jay Vana, 16, of Homer Glen. A reckless homicide charge is a Class 3 felony, and, according to the Tribune,
would place the driver in juvenile detention for anywhere from two years to until his 21st birthday.
Vana was riding in the driver's Ford F-150 pickup, and was not wearing his seat belt when the truck flipped and struck a tree. Both teens were ejected from the pickup, and when emergency crews arrived Vana was found beneath the vehicle. "The surviving teen told police that he lost control of the vehicle when he swerved to avoid deer in the road," according to the Tribune
, "but in later interviews, two other teens who were dropped off before the accident said the stretch of road where the crash occurred is known as a good place to race because there are few spots where police can park."
According to the National Hot Rod Association
(NHRA), in 2001, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that police listed street racing as a factor in 135 fatal crashes. That number was up from 72 purported street-racing fatalities reported the year before. Street racing is particularly bad in California and Florida, but nationwide, according to the NHRA show that "49 people are injured for every 1,000 who participate in illegal street racing." Most street racers are younger drivers, who fit the profile of the Illinois teen now facing charges for reckless driving.
If you or someone you know is facing reckless driving charges, don't go through it alone. The charge can have serious lifetime effects on your criminal record. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area attorney today.
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