CHICAGO — The father of an 8-year-old girl killed when authorities said he drove drunk on Christmas Eve was ordered held on $350,000 bail.
Jeffrey Smith, 26, was driving under the influence of alcohol when he crashed his car into a tree on the South Side, killing his 8-year-old daughter in the back seat, prosecutors said.
Smith was speeding in the 1000 block of West Garfield Boulevard, near the border of Englewood and Back of the Yards Tuesday night, Assistant State's Attorney Maura White said. He tried to pass another car and lost control, she said.
Smith's 2008 Impala flew into the air, landing on it side, White said. Both he and his daughter had to be cut out of the vehicle.
His daughter, Lauren Smith, was pronounced dead at 12:42 a.m. Wednesday at Comer Children's Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. She was not restrained in the car when authorities found her, prosecutors said.
After police read Smith his rights, he admitted to drinking two shots that night, prosecutors said.
Tests revealed Smith's blood-alcohol content to be .137 and found marijuana in his system, White said.
Smith, of the 5600 block of South Wolcott Avenue, remained hospitalized Friday, but more than a dozen friends and family members made their way to the Cook County courthouse in a show of support.
An attorney representing Smith complained to Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas that his family had not been allowed to visit him in the hospital and that he was cold.
Smith was charged with felony aggravated driving under the influence causing an accident or death, negligent driving, failure to reduce speed and violating child restraint rules. He was ordered held on $350,000 bail.
The judge denied requests to let Smith's family visit him in the hospital.