Father jailed for daughter's fatal car crash | 2015-08-21 | daily-sun.com

Father jailed for daughter's fatal car crash

Sky News

21st August, 2015 07:24:33 printer

Father jailed for daughter's fatal car crash

A father who let his 15-year-old daughter drive a vehicle which crashed, killing three school friends, has been jailed for up to 16 years for "reckless, stupid and selfish" behaviour.


Michael Ware, 54, lied to investigators about giving his daughter the keys to the SUV, allowing her to take all the blame for the crash, Judge Ray Hamill said.


Judge Hamill said: "What kind of father does this?"


Ryan Lesher, Shamus Digney and Cullen Keffer, who were all 15 and attended Council Rock High School in suburban Philadelphia, were killed in the crash on 30 August last year. Three others were also injured.


Ware, who admitted three counts of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment, apologised in a statement.


He said: "I cannot begin to say how sorry I am. Neither I nor my daughter meant any harm to anyone that day.


"May those boys rest in peace."


However, the parents of the teenagers spoke of their anger towards Ware, who had allowed his unlicensed daughter to drive several times before the crash including once between New York and their holiday home in Pennsylvania.


Ryan's mother Lisa Lesher said: "Your desire to be the cool dad devastated an entire community."


Judge Hamill called Ware's actions "preventable, irresponsible, reckless, stupid and selfish".


Robert Reno, defending Ware, called the sentence "ridiculous" and said there will be an appeal.


Prosecutors told the court Ware allowed his daughter to drive his Chevrolet Suburban from their home in Paupack Township with one of her friends. She then picked up four boys and drove to a restaurant.


On the way back, she lost control of the SUV which overturned.


Wilson Black, Shamus' uncle, told the court: "He basically gave his daughter a gun and put the bullets in it for her."


Ware told authorities at the crash scene that his daughter had taken the vehicle without permission. Court documents showed the girl supported his version of events "so as not to get him in trouble".


Two months later one of the passengers told police that Ware had given his daughter the keys.


The daughter admitted responsibility to counts of vehicular homicide in juvenile court and was placed on indefinite probation. She was also ordered to perform 300 hours of community service, pay restitution and write a 2,000-word essay on the impact of her crime.