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PONTIAC — A 19-year-old Geneva woman who was a driver in a fatal crash in September near Pontiac now faces charges of aggravated driving under the influence of drugs and reckless homicide with a vehicle. 

Jennifer Findahl, who is due in Livingston County court Feb. 21, is accused of driving the wrong way on Interstate 55 early on Sept. 16, 2017, when her sport utility vehicle collided with a semitrailer truck. The crash killed her passenger, Eweart Rice-Picasso, 18, of St. Charles.

Livingston County State’s Attorney Randy Yedinak said the latest charges were filed Jan. 26.

Illinois State Police said troopers were notified of a crash south of Pontiac about 3:50 a.m. Sept. 16. Rice-Picasso was transported to OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, where he was pronounced dead at 10:20 a.m. Sept. 17, Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood said.

Reports did not indicate if there were any other injuries in the crash. 

Findahl was initially charged with driving the wrong way on a one-way street. That charge was dropped in October and she was never required to appear in court.

Findahl remains free, and Yedinak said no warrant has been issued.

“She was issued the citation, but in the meantime, we were waiting for lab results and the crash investigation to be completed,” he said. “Once those were done and we evaluated them, we filed the charges.”

She faces three counts of aggravated DUI and one count of reckless homicide with a motor vehicle.

If convicted of aggravated DUI or reckless homicide, Findahl would face three to 14 years in prison and would have to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence.

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Follow Kevin Barlow on Twitter: @pg_barlow


Agriculture Reporter

Agriculture reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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