A 48-year-old man is accused of being under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he struck and killed a 6-year-old girl in a Chicago car accident.
The man had cocaine in his system and admitted to smoking marijuana and buying beer before the crash, which also injured the girl’s 21-year-old aunt, according to the Chicago Breaking News Center.
The defendant was held on $500,000 bail after a hearing in Cook County Criminal Court. He is charged with reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence. His defense attorney denies his client was under the influence during the accident, which occurred a week ago Tuesday evening as the victim and her aunt were crossing Ashland Avenue near 74th Street.
The State Attorneys office reports that the defendant failed field sobriety tests at the scene and subsequent tests revealed he had cocaine in his system. They also say the man admitted to smoking marijuana and had bought a 40 ounce bottle of beer that was found in the van.
Police report the South Damen Avenue man has more than 40 traffic tickets on his record. The victim and her aunt had gone to a nearby dollar store to buy candy when the girl was killed in the Chicago pedestrian accident.
The defendant was driving a Dodge Caravan at high speed, southbound on Ashland Avenue, when he struck the two victims waiting in the median to cross to the other side, according to authorities. The girl hit the van’s windshield and was thrown into the street. Her aunt was thrown across the northbound lanes of traffic and landed near a curb.
The aunt remained in the hospital nearly a week after the accident, after undergoing surgery for a fractured skull, broken leg and fractured shoulder blade.
The defendant’s attorney claims the drug tests could have been a false positive due to medication the man is on following a work accident. The defense also tried to blame the victims for the accident by saying the defendant tried to stop and help “the people who were running across the street, through traffic, and across the median where they shouldn’t have been,” the attorney told the Chicago Sun-Times.