Settlement Reached in “Huffing Death” Lawsuit

The family of a 5-year-old girl who was killed when her family’s car was hit by a teenager accused of “huffing” a cleaning product just moments before the accident, has settled the case.

Prior to the accident, Rousso inhaled fumes from a computer-cleaning product, a practice known as “huffing.”  A canister from the cleaning product involved was found on the seat of her Lexus.

“Huffing,” popular with some teens and pre-teens, is the practice of inhaling chemical substances, such as glue, paint, paint thinner, or aerosol cans to get high.  Dr. Drew Pinsky, an addiction expert and ABCNEWS consultant said, “There is an acute danger with this behavior, something called sudden sniffing death syndrome, where the circulating levels of adrenaline can sensitize the heart and people can die suddenly.” Some people have also had suffocating experiences from huffing. Chronic huffing can also dissolve parts of the brain, Pinsky said.

Carly Rousso, now 19-years-old, is out of jail on $500,000 bond.  Rousso lost control of her car, went across several lanes of traffic and then onto the sidewalk, striking Modesta Sacramento Jimenez and her three children.  Five-year-old Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento died in the Labor Day crash.

An excerpt from the CBS Chicago article of June 11 titled “Lawsuit Settled in Alleged ‘Huffing’ Crash That Killed 5-Year-Old Girl”:

The lawsuit filed against Rousso accused her of backing over Jaclyn in an attempt to flee. An attorney for Jaclyn’s family has said a local high school student interceded after Rousso struck Jaclyn and her family, and forcibly removed the keys from the ignition.

If Rousso is convicted on all charges, she will face up to 26 years in prison.  Although that is a long time for a young woman to spend in jail, the life of an innocent child was taken due to Rousso’s total irresponsibility and negligence. Not only was Rousso inhaling a chemical that causes damage to herself, she put other peoples’ lives at risk, as well.

The victim’s parents, Modesta Sacramento Jimenez and Tomas Santos DeJesus, filed the lawsuit, alleging wrongful death, negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

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