Driver who injured 7-year-old girl in Mother's Day hit-and-run gets 6 years
A Kane County judge sentenced a St. Charles Township man to six years in prison for the hit-and-run crash that critically injured a 7-year-old girl who was riding her bike on Mother's Day.
Lexi Hanson, now 8, suffered a concussion, two broken ribs and a collapsed lung in the May 12, 2019 crash in the Valley View area near St. Charles but she made a remarkable recovery and was released from a hospital just four days later.
Brian J. Quartuccio, 42, of the 35W700 block of Oak Drive, St. Charles, whose black Dodge pickup truck was found near the scene, surrendered the next day and was charged with several felonies. He pleaded guilty in October to the most severe charge of failure to report an accident with injuries, which carried a prison term of three to seven years.
In announcing the sentence, Kane County Judge D.J. Tegeler acknowledged Quartuccio may have panicked after hitting Lexi but was incredibly selfish in leaving her there to die.
"At that moment, you did not act like a human being," Tegeler told Quartuccio. "You and a vehicle should never be together with you driving it again."
Lexi's mother, Jessica Odle, described the horror of running to the accident scene shortly after 1 p.m. that day. Olde said she suffers from anxiety and has needed counseling since the crash.
"This is what it's like to lose a child, I told myself," Odle said in court as she recounted how she collapsed to her knees, wailing when she saw her daughter's crumpled body in the road surrounded by first responders.
"While you were in hiding," Odle told Quartuccio, "I experienced a level of grief I never thought possible. You had absolutely no right to be behind the wheel of vehicle that day."
Witnesses testified to hearing a loud crash and seeing Quartuccio's truck -- it was later found with Lexi's bike streamers stuck in the grill -- continue down the road. Quartuccio, who had three previous DUI convictions, was on probation after pleading guilty in 2018 and 2019 to driving while license revoked offenses in Kane and DuPage counties.
Quartuccio read a statement to the court, apologizing repeatedly to Lexi and her family and saying he would accept whatever sentence Tegeler decided. Family members described Quartuccio as generous and caring for his son, 11, whom Quartuccio had full custody of since the child was 1.
"This is not the example I want to set for my son," he said. "I made a decision to drive when I shouldn't have."
Defense attorney Dean Kekos said his client was afraid of going to jail or prison, and testimony from Quartuccio's Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor that the two were together early that morning until about 12:30 p.m. May 12 showed Quartuccio was not impaired.
"This wasn't an alcohol-type case. This was fear and stupidity," Kekos said. "He is very remorseful."
Under state law, Quartuccio can have his sentence cut in half for good behavior. He also gets credit for 19 days served at the jail before he posted bond.
Lexi's family is suing Quartuccio for damages. That lawsuit is next due in court Feb. 13.