'Cool Dad' Gets Prison for Letting 15-Year-Old Drive

Daughter crashed the SUV, killing three of her friends
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 20, 2015 3:36 PM CDT
'Cool Dad' Gets Prison for Letting 15-Year-Old Drive

A New York father who allowed his underage daughter drive his SUV, resulting in a crash that killed three of her friends, was sentenced to 16 years in prison today for what a judge called "reckless, stupid, and selfish" behavior. Michael Ware had let his 15-year-old daughter drive on multiple occasions, including from New York to Pennsylvania. On the day of the crash, his daughter used the SUV to take friends to breakfast before losing control on the way home. The mother of one of the killed teens said Ware's "desire to be the cool dad devastated an entire community." Another said, "He basically gave his daughter a gun and put the bullets in it for her."

Ware's lawyer had asked for 12 to 13 months in prison, but the judge increased the sentence in part because Ware lied about giving his daughter the keys and tried to allow her to take the entire blame. "What kind of father does this?" the judge asked incredulously. Ware plans on appealing the decision. His daughter took responsibility for her actions in juvenile court and was placed on indefinite probation for vehicular homicide. The parents of the victims said Ware not only took their children away but also wrecked his own daughter's life by giving her too much freedom. (More vehicular manslaughter stories.)

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