A Cook County family is struggling to find closure after losing a child in a fatal Skokie car accident. The family lost a 9-year-old child in a 2009 intoxicated driving car accident. The family has been returning the court constantly during the past few years to see whether the 23-year-old driver who caused the crash would accept a plea deal or take her case to trial. Assistant State Attorney Cathy Crowley described the unresolved status of this case as bordering on torture for the family.
It is unclear whether the driver will also face a wrongful death lawsuit from the family of the young boy. A wrongful death action is a civil lawsuit that the surviving family members of a deceased individual can bring against the person or entity that caused the death of their loved one.
Many defendants seek to quickly settle wrongful death lawsuits before criminal charges are resolved because a conviction makes it easier for a victims family to win a wrongful death action.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the 23-year-old driver was offered a five-year plea deal for aggravated DUI resulting in death but has declined to take it. So far the woman is pleading not guilty to her charges. She faces between 3 and 14 years if she is convicted of the various criminal charges against her.