ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A 14-year-old girl, injured last week in a crash that killed her mother, has died, Rockford Police said Wednesday.
A 5-year-old sibling, also in the car, was also seriously injured. The family confirmed with Eyewitness News that the three occupants of the car were related.
According to the criminal complaint, police said the incident happened around 7:10 p.m. on Monday, October 4th, at W. State Street and Avon, when Juan Arce, 31, allegedly ran his Ford Transit van through a red light and smashed into the victim’s vehicle at high speed.
Arce was charged with DUI, Reckless Homicide and Driving on a Revoked License.
Jerrisha Goodwin, 38, was killed at the time of the accident, and 14-year-old Allani Henry clung to life at a hospital before passing away a few days later.
Goodwin’s sister, Rotanda, says the family had to make the hard decision to take Allani off life support.
“My family, along with her father and his family, had decided to go ahead and take her off life support, because she hadn’t been stable since the night of the accident,” Rotanda said.
A 5-year-old boy suffered “great bodily harm” according to police, and was hospitalized.
Acre was also hospitalized for treatment of his injuries before being booked into the Winnebago County Jail.
He faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted.
In 2019, Arce pled guilty to driving under the influence in another case.
Rotanda says Arce destroyed her family. “I don’t understand why he’s been able to get away with the DUI’s he’s had, and then it turns out we have to suffer for his drinking and driving. It’s been hard, trying to explain to the 5-year-old, really, what’s going on. He [recalls] some things,” she said.
Rotanda now says she’s trying to pick up the pieces, looking back at the memories she has with Jerrisha and Allani, and remembers the importance of this year’s homecoming dance.
“[Jerrisha’s] mom never got to do these things with her because she was 11 when her mom passed away, so she was so proud to be able to share that moment with [Allani] that day, for homecoming,” she said.
Rotanda says in addition to Jerrisha’s 5-year-old son, she is survived also by a 19-year-old son, both of whom are living with her now.