MONROE, La. (AP) — A northeast Louisiana prosecutor says he’s dismissing the ticket issued to a Terrell teenager who apparently fell asleep at the wheel, causing a wreck that killed five members of his family. The 16-year-old boy, who was not identified, and two passengers were injured, one critically.
“This young man has been punished enough,” District Attorney Jerry Jones told The News-Star. “There is no need to add to his pain. The ticket will be dismissed.”
He has dismissed the misdemeanor ticket for careless driving, KNOE-TV reported.
State police said the blended family’s sport utility vehicle veered off Interstate 20 in Ouachita Parish near Calhoun and flipped about 11 p.m. Wednesday, ejecting six of the eight occupants. Three children and two adults were pronounced dead on the scene.
Authorities identified them as Michael Hardman and his wife, Trudi Hardman, both primary-school teachers from Terrell, Texas, and three of their children: sons Dakota Watson, 15, and Adam Hardman, 7; and daughter Kaci Hardman, 4.
The family was traveling to Disney World for a Thanksgiving vacation.
While en route to Orlando, Florida, the 16-year-old veered left onto the median and then tried to get back onto the highway but overcorrected, causing the 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe to roll over, police said.
The driver and the other injured passenger were treated at the hospital and released Thursday morning, Michael Hardman’s brother, Timothy Hardman, said last week.