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Tinley Park Concertgoer Charged In Crash That Killed Passenger

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Sarah Lavko

Sarah Lavko, 21, is charged in a DUI crash that killed Megan Elam, 18, in Tinley Park over the weekend. (Credit: Tinley Park Police)

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (CBS) — A 21-year-old Alsip woman has been charged in the death of another young woman over the weekend, in a crash while driving back from a concert in Tinley Park.

Bond for Sarah Lavko was set at $150,000 Tuesday, which means her family will have to come up with $15,000 for her release from the Cook County Jail.

Elam’s father thinks that’s a small price.

“That ain’t nothing,” Bill Elam, of Alsip, said Tuesday. “It’s costing me more than $13,000 to bury my daughter. At least their daughter will still be around. Mine’s never coming back.”

Megan Elam, of Alsip, died from injuries received when she was thrown from a car Lavko was driving Saturday night after leaving a concert by rapper Lil Wayne at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park.

Lavko was charged Tuesday with reckless homicide and aggravated drunken driving, both felonies, in connection with the one-car crash at 11:38 p.m. in the 6200 block of 183rd Street, police said.

A call to Lavko’s residence seeking comment was not returned.

Preliminary investigation determined Lavko’s blood-alcohol count was 0.197, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, said Andy Conklin, a spokesman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Police Cmdr. Steve Vaccaro said an open bottle of liquor was found in the car.

Circuit Court Judge Peter Felice set Lavko’s bail during a hearing Tuesday afternoon at the Bridgeview courthouse, Conklin said.

Vaccaro said witnesses told police the car left the roadway and “flipped over four or five times” before settling on Cook County forest preserve land on the north side of 183rd Street.

Two of the other three passengers who were in the car remained hospitalized Tuesday, police said.

Lavko’s next court date is set for 9 a.m. Sept. 7 at the Bridgeview courthouse. Elam’s parents, Bill and Debbie Elam, plan to be there, as they were at Tuesday’s hearing.

The SouthtownStar contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

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