No Ticket in Crash That Killed Disney-Bound Family

DA says 16-year-old who fell asleep at the wheel 'has been punished enough'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2014 12:31 PM CST
No Ticket in Crash That Killed Disney-Bound Family
This photo provided by the Louisiana State Police shows the wreckage of an SUV that was involved in an accident that killed five people in Calhoun, La., on Nov. 20, 2014.   (AP Photo/Louisiana State Police)

The 16-year-old who admits falling asleep behind the wheel and causing the fatal Louisiana accident that killed five members of his family on their way to Disney World will see a ticket issued over the crash dismissed, the DA for the 4th District says. The teen says he lost control of the family's Chevy Tahoe near Calhoun on Wednesday night when he dozed off. The car veered onto the median, but when the driver tried to get back onto the highway he overcorrected and the car flipped, ejecting six of the occupants, the Monroe News-Star reports.

Killed in the crash were parents Michael and Trudi Hardman of Terrell, Texas, and three children, Dakota Watson, 15, Kaci Hardman, 4, and Adam Hardman, 7. None of those killed wore seat belts. Although the Louisiana State Police issued the driver a citation for careless operation of the vehicle, DA Jerry Jones says, "This young man has been punished enough. There is no need to add to his pain. The ticket will be dismissed." No further citations or charges are expected. The Hardmans were both primary-school teachers, reports the AP; it talks to Michael's brother, who says the vacation was to be a "dream trip" for the family. (More Disney World stories.)

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