LEAGUE CITY — A Galveston County man has been charged with reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence for a car accident Sunday in Chicago, Ill., that killed his 4-year-old son, a spokeswoman for the Cook County State Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

Franklin L. Jackson, 46, of League City appeared in court Christmas Day, said Lisa Gordon, a spokeswoman for the Cook County State Attorney’s Office.

His bond was set at $250,000.

Prosecutors said Jackson was driving on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago when the car crashed into a guardrail and ejected 4-year-old Franklin Jackson Jr. through the SUV’s back window, according to The Associated Press. Police said it appeared the father had been drinking.

Police said Jackson told them he did not notice the boy had been thrown from the car until he pulled over at a gas station to check damage to the vehicle, according to prosecutors. The boy was found on a grassy embankment.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the child was the only passenger in the third row of seating, and was ejected from the rear window when the vehicle swerved from the middle lane and hit a guardrail twice.

The child was not wearing a seat belt and died of head trauma, authorities said.

Jackson’s wife and three other young children were in the vehicle but were not injured in the crash, according to The Associated Press report. 

Franklin was scheduled to appear again in court Thursday to have a later court date scheduled, Gordon said.

He is being held at the Cook County Jail, according to online jail records.


Contact reporter Alex Macon at 409-683-5244 or alex.macon@galvnews.com.

(9) comments

Doyle Beard

no one checked on the child before pulling into gas stataion

George Croix

"Jackson’s wife and three other young children in the vehicle ..."
NOBODY out of 2 adults and three remaining kids noticed one was missing?

Steve Fouga

According to the Chicago Tribune the child was the only passenger in the 3rd row of seating, and was ejected from the rear window when the vehicle swerved from the middle lane and hit a guardrail twice.

This brings up other questions, but helps explain why nobody noticed the child was missing immediately.

George Croix

AccuWeather says the temperature in Chicago on December 22 ranged from a low of 26 to a high of 35 degF. As such, it's unlikely that the SUV was being driven along with the rear window down.
So, if it was indeed up, then the child had to have been thrown through it, breaking it, during the impact(s) with the guardrail. Rear windows are not laminated typically, but are tempered safety glass that shatters into a zillion pieces when broken. Hardly a hard to notice thing.
If the window WAS down in that cold...why? Broken? Lowered then forgotten?
Is it possible that, even drunk, 2 adults and three other kids would not notice that suddenly the inside of the vehicle was a lot colder, and there was wind noise from the rear?
Even assuming that for some reason they were too drunk to not at LEAST turn around in the seat and see if anyone was hurt when the idiot driver hit the rail?
Whom can anyone possibly think of that would not do that as second nature following an accident?
I guess it didn't say, or I missed it, how far they drove from impact point(s) to the gas station. Maybe it wasn't very far?

Steve Fouga

I wondered about the window too. I couldn't visualize the impact geometry required to throw a small child from the back seat through a rear window, even if the window were open, if indeed the driver swerved from the middle lane and struck the guardrail twice, and the vehicle was still drivable.

I doubt we've heard the whole story…

George Croix

Yes. Unless he slammed backwards into the rail and the window was down and the child was standing up in the seat it's hard to figure how a body could be ejected, unless the laws of physics were temporarily repealed.
There are other more sinister ways that come to mind, but I think such options are best left in the realm of my wild imagination until, or if, there is followup information.
Darn shame another child is dead because of a so-called parent's willful negligence, it seems.

Ma Gill

Some people shouldn't be allowed to reproduce.
RIP, little one. It's not your fault your parents are uncaring idiots.

Evelyn Clark

My heart goes out to the entire family and I will pray for all of you. I know deep down your family is horrified, Remember God will step in on Time. [sad] [sad]

Kevin Lang

Seems to me that he must have spun and perhaps backed into the guardrail. I imagine that under those weather conditions, it's likely that the road was slippery. Emptying beer cans and vodka bottles while driving can intensify that effect. Especially since it's a well-known fact that having a few cocktails while driving makes you capable of out-driving the conditions. Well-known to drunks, anyway. Wouldn't be surprised at all if he was going over 60. Maybe faster. The Chicago Tribune article said the driver suffered a broken rib.

You have to wonder why he was the one driving. Was she drunk, too? Or, was she intimidated by him, or was she unable to crack his stubbornness?

In any event, what a sad way to enter the holiday period. I feel really sorry for the 4-year-old that died, and can only imagine the toll this will take on the younger children.

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