Police: Girl, 10, struck by drunk driver who fled scene

SHARE Police: Girl, 10, struck by drunk driver who fled scene

A 10-year-old girl was struck by a vehicle in a school zone Thursday afternoon in southwest suburban Riverside.

And the driver was drunk, talking on her cell phone and driving with her 14-year-old daughter, Riverside police said in a statment.

Julia Ann Rastelli struck the girl with the vehicle she was driving about 3 p.m. at the intersection of Longcommon and Herrick roads, police said. Rastelli, 50, then drove away from the scene.

“The 10-year-old female victim was stuck while she was actually in the marked crosswalk. The crossing guard was also in the crosswalk with the stop sign down,” Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel said. “The child was struck with such force that she rolled over the front of the SUV and landed onto the concrete.”

A witness provided responding officers with Rastelli’s vehicle license plate number and they soon found her about a half-a-mile away in the 300 block of Eastgrove, police said.

When officers approached her vehicle, they immediately smelled a strong odor of alcohol on her breath, the statement said. Rastelli admitted to drinking a mimosa earlier, but she refused to have a Breathalyzer test performed, police said. She did, however, fail a field sobriety test. 

The incident happened after Rastelli picked up her 14-year-old daughter from Riverside Brookfield High School, police said.

Rastelli, of the 100 block of Southcote Road in Riverside, was charged with felony aggravated DUI, disobeying a crossing guard while in a marked crosswalk, hit and run, communicating on a telephone device while driving through a school zone, failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, no vehicle insurance and endangering the life of a child, police said.

The felony aggravated DUI charge arose out of the fact that the crash and drunk driving arrest took place in a school zone and the child was struck in a school zoned crosswalk, the statement said. The child endangerment charge came from the fact that the driver was driving intoxicated with a 14-year-old juvenile in her vehicle.

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