Teen in crash that killed five enroute to Disney World avoids citation

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 24, 2014 3:13 PM

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A careless driving citation against a Texas teenager at the wheel during a car accident that killed five members of his family as they traveled to Florida's Disney World will be dismissed, prosecutors said on Monday.

The teenager, who has not been identified, was cited after the single-car crash last week on a Louisiana highway that may have been due to him falling asleep at the wheel, police in northeastern Louisiana have said.

But District Attorney Jerry Jones in Monroe, Louisiana, told the News-Star newspaper that the teen had already been punished enough.

Jones did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment, but a representative said the driver's ticket will be dismissed when it is received by the district attorney's office.

The family had been set to travel more than 1,000 miles from Terrell, Texas to Orlando, Florida for a family vacation.

Michael and Trudi Hardman from the Dallas suburb of Terrell were killed along with three children, ages 4, 7 and 15, when the family's Chevrolet Tahoe SUV crossed over a median strip, according to police. The driver tried to correct the mistake, which then caused the vehicle to flip, police said.

Eight people were in the vehicle, including the couple, their children and their step-children. Six of them were not wearing seat belts and were ejected, police said.

The teen driver and the two other survivors were hospitalized for non-life threatening injuries.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Susan Heavey)