A Texas teen who was issued a careless driving citation after wreck that killed five of his family members will not face charges, prosecutors said Monday.
The crash crash occurred on a Louisiana interstate, as the family was travelling to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Louisiana authorities believe the teen dozed off behind the wheel, and overcorrected as he came to.
The family had been traveling over 1,000 miles from Terrell, Texas to Orlando for a family vacation, when the Chevrolet Tahoe SUV crossed over the median and flipped.
Eight people were in the SUV, including parents Michael and Trudi Hardman from the Dallas suburb of Terrell, and their children and step-children. Six were not wearing seat belts, and were thrown from the vehicle.
Update-TX family killed in crash on way to Disney World Michael& Trudi Hardman of Terrell, children were ages 4,7 &15 pic.twitter.com/h4XUkoJaA0
— MyFoxHouston (@MyFoxHouston) November 20, 2014
Three children, ages four, seven and 15, along with the parents, were killed. The three who survived were taken to an area hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
District Attorney Jerry Jones in Monroe, Louisiana, commented that the traffic violation would be dismissed, as the teen had already been punished enough.
The driver’s ticket will be dismissed when it is received by the district attorney’s office.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that car crashes are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-54 in the United States. The CDC advises that wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to protect oneself, and cuts the fatality rate by roughly 50 percent.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to cover the funeral expenses of the Hardan family.
The service will take place Wednesday.