The Highland Park Police Department was unfortunately kept very busy in 2012. A Highland Park home invasion by armed Deerfield teens earlier this year was quickly overshadowed by the tragic Labor Day car crash that killed a 5-year-old Highland Park girl.
That car crash brought a heaviness to the community that was unlike anything I had ever seen as a reporter. For weeks after, the Central Avenue sidewalk where the crash occurred was used as a makeshift memorial for Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento, the 5-year-old girl who's life was so suddenly cut short. Residents started memorial funds for the victim's family, organized peaceful walks to commemorate her death and grieved together at Jaclyn's funeral. There seemed to be little else anyone could do in the weeks and months after Jaclyn died besides try to make sense of this awful news.
It's no surprise then that the stories about the crash and its aftermath were the most widely read police stories on Highland Park Patch in 2012. The coverage explored how the crash happened and what ensued after, and, perhaps more importantly, provided an outlet for readers to voice their concerns and express their sadness.
Patch has always strived to be an online community where readers are encouraged to engage with the writers and with each other in the comments section of stories. Jaclyn's sudden death and the circumstances surrounding it pushed that engagement to a new level. It seemed like the only way the community could stand a chance at getting over this horrific story was to talk about it.
With that, Patch continues its year in review with the top 10 most-read police and fire stories of the year. Feel free to comment on which ones were important to you in the comments section, or suggest what you'd like to see covered more in 2013.
- Charges Filed in Fatal Highland Park Crash
- Rousso Cited with DUI Days Before Her Name Was Released
- Highland Park House Fire Leaves 1 Dead
- Teen Struck by Train Identified as son of Lake Forest College President
- Highland Park Teen From Burgled Home Arrested for Dealing Drugs
- Prosecutor Says Rousso May Have Fainted Before Driving into Family
- Hundreds Walk to Mourn 5-Year-Old Car Crash Victim
- 20 Persian Cats Rescued from Highland Park Garage