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Violent Car Crash in Pinellas County Kills Two Children

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on August 1, 2021

According to authorities with the St. Petersburg Police Department, an 18-year-old female has been charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child and child abuse/aggravated battery with great bodily harm for her alleged connection to an auto accident that claimed the life of two children this past Friday afternoon.

Preliminary collision reports from responding St. Petersburg Police Department officers indicate that it was shortly before 1 p.m. on July 30, 2021, when a 2017 grey Nissan Rogue carrying two adults, two juveniles, and two toddlers was travelling in the northbound direction of Tyrone Boulevard approaching Norfolk Street North. As the SUV entered the vicinity of the intersection, the driver of the Nissan failed at an attempt to pass another motorist in their path and their vehicle violently slammed into a set of palm trees planted along the roadway.

The force of impact from the collision was so intense that multiple occupants received severe injuries, including 21-month-old Williah Waller and 16-year-old Mar’rion Heatly who were both ejected from the vehicle. “We cannot emphasize enough the importance of wearing seatbelts and of properly restraining children. It’s devastating anytime people are hurt in a crash, and especially to lose two children in a crash is a tragedy,” said St. Petersburg Police Department public information officer Sandra Bentil in a statement to the press. Both children were transported by Pinellas County emergency response teams to local hospitals where they sadly succumbed to their injuries soon after arrival.

Also in the Nissan Rogue at the time of the fatal crash was 18-year-old Maliyah Waters – caregiver to one of the children who were killed. She was treated at the scene for minor injuries and was then arrested for aggravated manslaughter of a child and child abuse/aggravated battery with great bodily harm for allowing a child under her care to be improperly restrained in a moving motor vehicle.

Investigators with the St. Petersburg Police Department have determined that none of the backseat seat belts were in use at the time of the deadly collision. It is unclear at this time if any of the other individuals inside the Nissan Rogue will face legal consequences.

James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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