Erin Hughes, the girl accused of striking a classmate in a hit-and-run while under the influence of marijuana, expressed remorse for the girl she allegedly struck as she left court Thursday.
"All you people need to know is that I'm praying for Sarah (Goone) and I hope she gets better," Hughes said after a hearing to determine if she had marijuana in her system at the time of the accident.
She then climbed into a black Jeep with her father, Robert, and was driven away.
The 18-year-old honor student faces charges of failure to report an accident involving an injury, render aid and exercise due care in a crash in Winnetka that critically injured Goone, her classmate.
Hughes was released from a home-monitoring device by the judge overseeing her case. Judge Marcia Orr allowed Hughes to go free even though reports showed she tested positive for marijuana following the Friday accident.
The toxicology report has not yet indicated the level of marijuana in her system. Another lab will quantify the amount of marijuana present in her bloodstream and, at that point, the assistant states attorney and possibly a grand jury will decide whether to charge Erin Hughes with misdemeanor DUI or felony DUI.
Following Thursday's hearing, Hughes will have to submit to regular drug screens until her next trial date on June 14, Judge Orr said.
Despite reports that Hughes and and her household have a history of marijuana use, Judge Orr nevertheless said that Hughes does not appear to be a regular abuser of controlled substances.
Hughes is an honor student who will graduate from New Trier High School a week from Sunday. She will attend the University of Missouri in the fall.
The 18-year-old honor student will be released from her home monitoring bracelet, according to the judge. She has orders not to leave the jurisdiction.
"Obviously there will be no driving," Orr said.
As for Hughes' representation, the lawyer representing Hughes was abruptly replaced before the hearing. Barry Spector took over for Jack Levin in the criminal case.
"Her total concern is about Sarah making a full and complete recovery. There's no question about it," he said.
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