On September 7th, my child was involved in a horrible ATV accident. To me, this was no true accident. My child is a baby, not even two years old; yet found himself placed on a 250CC Yamaha All Terrain Vehicle while in the care of his paternal family members.
I will never forget walking into the Emergency Room and seeing my child strapped to a body board, road rash covering his face and arms, scared out of his mind, and all through no fault of his own. Even though there wasn’t intent on harming my child, the careless actions put my child in a dangerous situation. Witnesses and police reports account the driver of the ATV going at high speeds down a paved road, which had been done all day long.
To my horror, I found out this wasn’t the first time my child had been placed on the ATV, just the first time something happened. Upon examination, it was found that he had a fractured clavicle from the impact of the fall from the ATV, and off we went to the Loyola Children’s Hospital for observation. DCFS was called in, as is usual and expected in any case of injuries to a child.
After investigation, more witness
reports, and numerous interviews, they have found those responsible guilty of
child abuse. My 22 month olds injuries were a direct result of the actions of
those who were entrusted with his care, who failed him. Failed to keep him safe
from harm, and according to the law and definitions of child abuse, put him in
a situation that could create harm or substantial risk of harm to his well
And now, Eric Weis, you are failing him as well. The State’s Attorney has declined to prosecute those responsible, even though it was found to be child abuse, well within the written law guidelines. Why, may you ask, are they not prosecuting? Simply because, as told to me, “there was no intention to harm him.”
Of course not, no one intends to flip an ATV, but the fact is, by placing my child on an ATV, on a road way, and driving at excessive speeds, he WAS put in a situation that could create a substantial risk of harm. Any adult with a lick of sense would know that. How many other cases are there, were harm came to some simply because of an accident, yet, they are prosecuted fully.
My child can not speak for himself, he can not defend himself and he can not get justice for himself. It is up to you, the elected official, to prosecute and bring justice for all those children who are the victims. I’m sure no one intends to harm a child, but at what degree does the excuse “there was no intention,” get thrown out? Did my son have to die before you, our States Attorney’s office, would take action and punish those responsible?
I am not asking for much, I am simply asking for justice; justice for my 22 month old son, and justice for any other parent out there who feels totally helpless when the law fails them.
So I say to you Eric Weis, reconsider your decision to decline prosecution. So what if this isn’t your typical “open and shut case.” So what if it might take longer hours and a harder trial. Stop backing down from cases, just because there may not have been “intent.” The law states that in Illinois, an accident that resulted in child abuse may be prosecuted if the accident was a result of recklessness or gross carelessness.
I’m positive if you really looked at the facts surrounding this case, you would find the actions of those responsible were indeed reckless and careless. Stand up for the victims who have no voice, like my son, and the other child abuse victims of Kendall County.
Lastly, I would like to express a very large thank you to the members of the Oswego Paramedics who transported my son, and to the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office for completing a very thorough investigation. They did their jobs wonderfully, now Eric Weis, it’s time to do yours.