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Teen strikes seven pedestrians in fatal motor vehicle accident

A Virginia baby is dead after a teenage boy lost control of his vehicle and ran into a group of pedestrians on August 31. The fatal car accident happened in Rockingham County near Harrisonburg. A 16-year-old driver of an SUV was driving through the Belmont subdivision early that Friday morning; he somehow veered off the roadway and plowed into a small crowd of people -- most of them children -- standing nearby.

While fatal motor vehicle accidents are often composed of multiple cars or trucks, single vehicle wrecks can prove equally deadly, especially when children and young drivers are involved. In this incident, two adults and five children happened to be in the path of the swerving Jeep, and a 17-month-old girl did not survive the event.

Rockingham Memorial Hospital later saw all of the pedestrians who were hit in the accident. The six people who survived all sustained severe injuries, though thankfully none have proven life-threatening. However, one of the adults in the group, a 45-year-old woman, required transport to the University of Virginia Hospital for additional treatment.

The group of bystanders had been departing from a school bus stop when they were struck by the teenage driver. In addition to the 45-year-old woman, the group consisted of a 27-year-old babysitter, her infant son, and two additional children, each just two years old.

Both of the adults were from Harrisonburg, as was the driver of the SUV. He did not receive any injuries from the crash.

Local investigators, including the Virginia State Police, are continuing to investigate the details of the accident.

The Rockingham County Commonwealth Attorney's Office has charged the teen with involuntary manslaughter, a felony in Virginia. Frequently, involuntary manslaughter charges rest on the driver's negligence, and prosecutors must demonstrate the driver's disregard for human life at the time of the tragedy.

The driver must appear in court later this fall.

Source: WHSV, "17-month-old girl dead in car crash; 6 other people seriously injured," Aug. 31, 2012

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