Geneva woman faces aggravated DUI charge in crash that killed Geneva High grad

Updated 2/5/2018 3:29 PM

A 19-year-old from Geneva has been charged with being high on marijuana and pills when she caused a September 2017 crash downstate that killed Eweart "Daine" Rice-Picasso, a St. Charles resident and 2017 Geneva High School graduate.

Jennifer L. Findahl, of the 3100 block of Husking Peg Lane, was charged late last month with three counts of aggravated driving under the influence of drugs and reckless homicide, all felonies, according to court records and authorities.

The charges out of Livingston County stem from a Sept. 16, 2017, crash on Interstate 55 northeast of Bloomington. Findahl is accused of being high on marijuana and ingesting it less than two hours before the crash, and being under the influence of an anti-anxiety medication, when she drove a Cadillac Escalade the wrong way on an exit ramp and her vehicle was struck by a semitrailer, court records show.

Rice-Picasso, 18, died a few hours later from his injuries.

Livingston County State's Attorney Randy Yedinak said authorities had to wait for test results before charges could be filed. Under state law, Findahl was required to submit to chemical tests because she was involved in a crash with serious injuries or a fatality.

Yedinak said Findahl was sent a court summons to appear downstate Feb. 21. No warrant has been issued because she was arrested the day of the crash, he said, declining to elaborate.

Findahl's attorney, James Casson, declined to comment Monday.

The Daily Herald filed a Freedom of Information Act request with state police last week seeking additional information. Police are required by law to reply this week.

If guilty of aggravated DUI, Findahl faces up to 14 years in prison, and must serve 85 percent of any sentence. Probation also is an option, but Findahl must prove "extraordinary circumstances" to stay out of prison.

Findahl has no criminal arrests in Kane County, according to court records. She received citations for a hit-and-run July 29, 2016, in St. Charles Township. She was cited for having no valid driver's license, leaving the scene of an accident, improper passing on the shoulder and having no license plates on her vehicle.

Findahl pleaded guilty in February 2017 to the modified charge of failing to carry her driver's license and was sentenced to one year of conditional discharge. She also was ordered to complete traffic school, pay a $600 fine, complete 75 hours of community service, and write an essay, court records show.

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