Driver In Crash That Killed Skokie Boy Allegedly High On Pot
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UPDATED 05/23/12 – 3:37 p.m.
SKOKIE, Ill. (CBS) — A woman has been charged with driving while on drugs, after allegedly causing a crash that left an 8-year-old boy dead in Skokie.
Hanin Goma, 23, of the 5000 block of Wright Terrace in Skokie, is charged with one count each of felony aggravated driving under the influence resulting in death, and misdemeanor driving under the influence of drugs.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports Goma was arrested after the crash. Prosecutors said she was smoking marijuana the morning of the crash.
Bond for Goma was set at $250,000 Wednesday in the Skokie Courthouse. She must also submit to weekly drug tests, and surrender her passport. She’s due back in court on June 12.
Goma was allegedly headed south on the residential St. Louis Avenue was making a left turn onto Main Street – a four-lane thoroughfare. She hit a second car, then lost control and hit Carter on the sidewalk. A third car was also hit in the process.
Carter was just days from finishing the 2nd grade. His father, Nhu Vo, was in tears as he talked about his son Tuesday – still using the present tense.
“He loves to bike,” Vo said. “He was supposed to take swimming lessons this summer.”
Carter’s father said the boy was quiet and sensitive, and had deep thoughts.
“You know, for an 8-year-old, he seemed to ask me a lot of questions,” Nhu Vo said. “Like last week, a couple of weeks ago, he asked me, ‘What was heaven like?’”
Goma has a long traffic record going back to June 2007, for speeding, running red lights, not having insurance, and assorted other offenses. Most seriously, she was ticketed for leaving the scene of an accident by Chicago Police in August of last year.
She was also charged last year with marijuana possession and criminal damage to property last year, and was given a fine, supervision and community service for the drug possession. The supervision ended in March.
In all, Goma has 15 traffic violations on her record since 2008 — including six for speeding — but she was only convicted of two of those counts. The rest of the traffic violations were dismissed or dropped, for various reasons.
Illinois state law requires three convictions in a single year before a driver’s license is suspended.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse white is the only person that has the power to suspend or revoke a driver’s license. His office never knew about Goma’s record, because she’s only been convicted twice.
White said it’s frustrating.
“It’s obvious that this individual slipped through the cracks, and it’s important for judges to look to our databases – as well as prosecutors – to find out if there are court supervisions that the person has received,” White said.
Family members said they are devastated by their loss, but they also said they’re praying for Goma.
Meanwhile, several residents in the area said they’ve had longtime concerns about the intersection where Carter died.
The intersection where the accident happened is a school zone, and a crossing guard is stationed half a block west at Drake Avenue before and after school.
A school crossing guard said that spot is just as dangerous, because of speeders.
In a statement on Tuesday, Skokie village officials said, “While it is believed that human error likely caused the tragic crash, village engineers will evaluate the intersection for any safety deficiencies.”