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A familiar story that should never have to be told

Though we here in Huntington are far from where a heartbreaking wreck occurred, we know that similarly senseless tragedies happen far too often on our own city's streets. The story begins with a little girl: sweet, passionate, tender-hearted, her friends and family say. The familiar tale continues with a 26-year-old Chicago area man who had been drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana; he was feeling good and driving fast. Their lives intersected on an October night a little more than a year ago.

His Cadillac Deville veered across the center line and into the path of the 9-year-old's mom's minivan. Her mother swerved to try to avoid the oncoming car, but the speeding vehicle slammed into the side of the van. After the violent collision, he ran from the scene of the accident. The little girl was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Two of her friends were in her mom's minivan that night. They had to be hospitalized for injuries sustained in the crash.

The driver's attempt to flee was unsuccessful. He was caught and arrested. He recently pleaded guilty to aggravated drunk driving felonies and a charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

The prosecutor said after the court appearance that "parents should not have to suffer the unimaginable grief of burying their child." He is asking for a sentence of up to 14 years in an Illinois state prison for the driver.

As is so often the case when someone combines alcohol, drugs and high speeds, the results were entirely preventable injuries and death.

No one can replace the precious lives stolen in these cases. But a law firm devoted to fighting for families that have lost loved ones can help you obtain justice.

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