ZION, Ill. — An Illinois judge says a man charged with reckless homicide in a 2015 crash that killed a 15-year-old girl and her father was given an “unbelievable deal” in his 90-day jail sentence.
Christopher Romano, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of reckless driving instead of reckless homicide under the negotiated deal. He will begin his jail sentence in November and also will serve two years’ probation.
Lake County Circuit Judge Victoria Rossetti said she hopes Romano successfully completes his probation, although “it will never bring back the people” who lost their lives in crash.
Prosecutors said Romano has been previously charged with 18 traffic offenses since 1999, which includes reckless driving and one DUI, for which he received supervision.
“Mr. Romano, I cannot tell you how much of an unbelievable deal you received,” Rossetti said.
Authorities said Romano’s vehicle struck another vehicle, which crashed into a pole, on Aug. 29, 2015. Christopher Winiewicz, 50, and his daughter, Haylie Winiewicz, died in the crash. His other daughter, Ashley Winiewicz, survived.
Ashley Winiewicz said the crash caused her family “emotional, physical and financial destruction.”
Winiewicz, who was driving on a permit the night of the crash, said she has had two operations on her arm and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“It’s hard to remember the good times,” she said. “All I can remember is my dad still trapped in the car with his head back and blood in his mouth, and my little sister lying in a casket.”