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Girl, 15, Ticketed For Crash That Killed Friend, Dog

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Taylor Mae Stinchcomb and her dog.  (Credit: CBS)

Taylor Mae Stinchcomb and her dog. (Credit: CBS)

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GRAYSLAKE, Ill. (CBS) — A traffic ticket has been issued against a 15-year-old girl, who was driving in a crash last week that killed her friend and a sick dog.

The girl was cited for improper lane usage in the June 21 crash in rural Lake County near Grayslake, which killed Taylor Mae Stinchcomb, 15, and her ailing Doberman, Romulus, Lake County authorities said.

Taylor was upset that Romulus might have to be euthanized due to cancer. So she took off in her parents’ 2003 Dodge minivan with a friend – a decision that ended up killing her and the dog.

The rollover accident happened around 12:45 a.m. June 21 on Almond Road just south of Belvidere Road in unincorporated Grayslake, according to Lake County sheriff’s police.

Taylor was originally driving – police have not indicated where, if anywhere, she was destined – but she later because so upset about the dog that she asked her friend to drive, police said.

The girl turned south on Almond Road, headed to Casey Road, then turned around north on Almond Road again. The stretch of Almond Road on which she was driving runs for slightly over a mile through a largely wooded area – dead-ending into Belvidere Road on the north end and Casey Road on the south with no cross-streets in between.

It was as the girl headed back north on Almond Road that she lost control of the van and hit several trees and a utility pole on the east side of the road, police said.

Taylor was trapped in the passenger seat, and had to be extricated by Grayslake firefighters. She was breathing and talking before being taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, but later died from apparent multiple internal injuries, police said.

Romulus also died in the accident, but details about the dog’s injuries were not released.

Police have not released the name of Taylor’s friend who was ticketed, given that she is only 15 years old. She is not legally old enough to hold a driver’s license, but no mention was made of any tickets on that charge.

The Lake County Sheriff’s office is waiting for analysis of data gathered from the vehicle’s black box, and toxicology results, which will be reviewed by the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office. But police do not believe drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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