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4-year-old dead in ATV crash, child endangerment suspects await plea deal

Putting a child in harm’s way is difficult to forgive, especially when tragedy strikes and the child is injured or killed. However, accidents do happen, and sometimes a parent or family member will think they are just trying to show the child a good time when something goes wrong and that mistake can never be taken back. People who are charged with child endangerment need a strong criminal defense advocate on their side to help them through the difficult legal process as they attempt to cope with the injuries or death that are ultimately their fault. A 4-year-old girl was killed in an ATV accident in Somerset County in October. The girl’s father and great aunt are now attempting to reach a plea deal on the various charges that have stemmed from the tragedy. The victim’s 28-year-old father and his 35-year-old aunt, both from Summit, Somerset County, PA both waived their rights to preliminary hearing before Douglas Bell, the Meyersdale District Judge, on five separate counts of child endangerment and at least fourteen other similar charges related to the crash that took the life of the 4-year-old victim. Both suspects are currently out free on bond. The attorney for the two suspects told reporters that he is in negotiations to try to “put an end to their suffering.” The two made a brief appearance in court with other family members and some friends, but they had no comment for reporters as they left the courtroom. Their attorney says that he believes he will be able to reach a plea deal with the District Attorney; however, there is no formal agreement in place at this time. The D.A. did say that she and her cohorts struggled with how to charge the two, citing that she is sympathetic but that these bad choices cannot go entirely unpunished. The two suspects’ attorney has said that he believes he could successfully defend them, but that he doesn’t want them to have to relive the tragic accident. The 35-year-old suspect and owner of the ATV is the mother of the 14-year-old girl who was driving it when the accident happened, flipping it over a railroad crossing and killing the young girl. Three other children—ages one, three, and nine—were also passengers on the all-terrain vehicle. The ATV was being operated illegally on a public roadway when the accident happened and the 14-year-old driver has been charged in juvenile court with child endangerment, accidents involving injury, and accidents involving death. The young girl who died ultimately perished from blunt force trauma injuries as she was being treated at Conemaugh Meyersdale Medical Center. Her and the other injured children were rushed to Conemaugh in family vehicles. If you have been arrested for child endangerment that led to serious injuries or the tragic death of a child, call Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney Gary Gerson today for a free consultation at 412-219-6875 . Source: TribLive.com, “ATV victim’s family seeks deal in fatal crash in Somerset County” 21 November 2014

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