Carly Rousso Indicted in 5 Year Old's Death

A grand jury has charged the 18-year-old Highland Park resident who drove into a family on Labor Day, killing a 5-year-old girl, with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI.

A grand jury has indicted the 18 year old who drove into a Highland Park family on Central Avenue on Labor Day, killing a 5-year-old girl, on aggravated driving under the influence of an intoxicating compound and reckless homicide charges, according to the Lake County State's Attorney. 

Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento: The Story So Far

Highland Park resident Carly Rousso was driving eastbound on Central Avenue on Labor Day afternoon . Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento, 5, was killed.

Toxicology reports indicate that the compound Difluoroethane was detected in Rousso's blood, according to the grand jury indictment. The compound was found in a commercial cleaning product uncovered in Rousso's car, according to Ken LaRue, the Lake County State's Attorney's Traffic Division chief.

Rousso was indicted on Wednesday on four counts of aggravated driving under the influence of an intoxicating compound — two for the death of Jaclyn and two for the injuries to Jaclyn's mother, Modesta. She was also charged with two counts of reckless homicide. 

There are six factors that can be used to charge someone with an aggravated DUI, according to LaRue.

"We have to charge every possible charge at the beginning," LaRue said. "Everything that she should be charged with under the statute she's charged with."

Let Patch save you time. Get more Highland Park news like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone with our free newsletter. Sign up here.

Rousso is currently free on a $500,000 bond. Her arraignment has been scheduled for Oct. 18.

If she's found guilty of aggravated DUI, the statute requires that she serve 85 percent of her sentence, which could be as many as 14 years in prison, according to LaRue. 

"Unless you are able to show extraordinary circumstances," LaRue said about people found guilty of aggravated DUI, "you're doing prison time."

Jaclyn's family seeks damages

Meanwhile, Jaclyn's mother is seeking damages from the driver, according to Bob Baizer, who is representing Sacramento in the wrongful death lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed seeks damages in excess of $50,000, which Baizer explained is the jurisdictional limit allowed to be requested. When asked how much he hoped to get for the Sacramento family, he replied, "That'll be up to a jury."

"I can assure you it's substantially more than $50,000," he said.

A hearing will be held Dec. 6 to set a trial date, which Baizer believes will be sometime in September of 2013.

For more news and updates, "like" us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Bryce Robertson October 04, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Jacob - re: reckless homicide, wouldn't that be for the death of Jaclyn - thus the homicide charge?
Jacob Nelson October 04, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Nice catch, Bryce. That's what happens when I rush a story. Thanks for that.
Jeff Wheeler October 04, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Jacob, I also think -- though I am not sure -- there should be only one count of Reckless Homicide (only one one was killed), and the four counts of aggravated DUI, one for each person injured or 'hit' by the vehicle. From my understanding in the reporting, the whole family was hit or put in danger by her driving into them. I think the two boys were just not injured or severely injured. I could be wrong though. Can you confirm and update the story?
Jacob Nelson October 04, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Thanks for the comment, TJ. According to the indictment, Rousso was charged with two counts of reckless homicide: One based on the recklessness of her driving, and one based on the recklessness of her driving as a result of "intoxicating compound in her blood." I'm assuming this is similar to the DUI counts, where charges are not determined by the people affected but instead by a set of factors.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »