Driver in fatal Highland Park 'huffing' crash must report to prison

  • Carly Rousso

    Carly Rousso

Updated 10/1/2014 2:40 PM

A 20-year-old Highland Park woman sentenced to 5 years in prison for running over and killing a 5-year-old girl while "huffing" computer dust cleaner will be transferred to an Illinois state correctional facility this week.

Wearing dark blue jail scrubs and large-framed glasses, Carly Rousso made her first court appearance Wednesday since being booked in Lake County jail Sept. 17 for killing Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento of Highland Park.


Rousso stood silently in front of Lake County Judge James K. Booras with her hands handcuffed behind her back while attorneys argued if she should receive 99 days of credit for checking herself into various drug treatment programs while out on bail for the 2012 crash.

Attorneys elected to postpone the arguments until Nov. 5, then agreed to waive her presence for future hearings, enabling her to be transferred to a downstate prison. Rousso was sentenced by Booras to five years in prison for reckless homicide and 4 years for aggravated driving under the influence for crashing her family-owned Lexus into Santos-Sacramento, her two brothers, and her mother in the 700 block of Central Avenue in Highland Park. The victim's mother and brothers survived the crash.

Authorities said Rousso was high from "huffing" the dust cleaner just before she blacked out and swerved across traffic Sept. 5, 2012.

Rousso's prison sentences will be served concurrently. Under state law, she will have to serve 85 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole.

Booras could have sentenced Rousso to 14 years in prison. Prosecutors requested that she serve eight years in prison, but defense attorneys asked for probation.

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At the Nov. 5 hearing, both sides will argue whether the 99 days Rousso spent in drug treatment programs should count as credit for time served.

Defense attorney Jed Stone said Rousso deserves the credit for time she spent at inpatient drug programs at Highland Park Hospital, Northwest Community Hospital and Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center in Lemont. He claims all three facilities lock patients inside while they take part in drug treatment programs.

However, Assistant State's Attorney Michael Ori said those treatment facilities are voluntary programs and Rousso could check herself out at anytime.

Therapists testified Rousso entered the treatment programs after she used inhalants to get high and abused alcohol in violation of her bail in June 2013. Informationa about that drug and alcohol abuse was kept from prosecutors, Ori said.

On Wednesday, defense attorneys asked Booras to make a formal recommendation that Rousso be sent to a prison that has a drug abuse treatment program and that she is granted a contact visit with her parents before heading to prison.

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