Prosecutor to decide whether to charge driver in ATV accident - Dallas News |

Prosecutor to decide whether to charge driver in ATV accident

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Michelle Reaume could face charges following an ATV crash early Sunday morning in Sumpter Township. Michelle Reaume could face charges following an ATV crash early Sunday morning in Sumpter Township.

We're learning more about the tragic ATV accident in Sumpter Township.  There is now a chance the driver that ran over a tent of children could face charges.

"Somebody telling me that my daughter had been in a tent that was struck by an ATV, I couldn't even breathe.  I mean, how does that happen?" said Stacy Rudd.

That is what the Livonia mother would like to know.  Rudd just brought her daughter home from the hospital.  Eleven-year-old Alahna suffered a bleeding spleen, a small fracture to her spine and a concussion after the tent she was sharing with three of her friends was run over by an ATV early Sunday morning.

"She was stuck in the tent.  By the time the ATV had hit the tent, one girl had gotten out, one girl was thrown from it, and the other two were stuck inside of it and had to be cut out," Rudd explained.  "I was the first to arrive to the hospital, and I had to see all three of the children come in trying to guess which one was mine."

Pictures taken by police that night set up the disturbing scene in Wayne County's Sumpter Township.  23-year-old Michelle Reaume told us she was hosting a bonfire party in her backyard and decided to take her 1986 Honda four wheeler for a ride just after midnight, but something went terribly wrong.  The throttle got stuck.  She lost control and ran over a tent full of ten- and eleven-year-old girls.  The ATV flipped and hit adults sitting a few feet away from that bonfire.

"I couldn't react.  It just happened," Reaume said.

Photos show there was alcohol at this party, but police said Reaume blew under the legal limit and her drinking was not "a contributing factor to this crash."  That, in fact, the ATV malfunctioned and caused the accident.

But we're learning there may be more blame to go around.  We're told Reaume drove that ATV earlier in the evening and she got it stuck.  It wasn't working right, so she brought it back.  But later that night, she decided to ride it again.

"She makes a choice to get on that damaged vehicle and take it out and do 45 next to a bonfire and a tent full of little girls.  Who does that?" said grandmother Shelly Nix.  "Nobody who's responsible does that."

One of the girls who was struck suffered severe head injuries and is still in the hospital with a fractured eye socket and has to get a metal plate in her head.  The other child has been released.

Alahna is now home surrounded by stuffed animals, balloons and her loving family, but she has a long road to recovery.  It's expected to take months, and her mother feels someone needs to be held responsible.

"You can feel sorry for it.  You can feel bad about it.  You can wish it never happened, but there's consequences to the choices that you make, and yes, she should be held accountable," Rudd said.

Police are still investigating, but said within the next couple of days they plan to hand the case over to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, which will make the final decision on whether criminal charges should be filed against the driver of that ATV.

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