HARRISONBURG — The trial of a high school student whose SUV crashed into a group of children and adults waiting at a school bus stop in Belmont Estates in August, killing a toddler, was postponed Tuesday.
The 16-year-old boy, a student at Turner Ashby High School, was scheduled to appear in Rockingham County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on Tuesday, but the case was moved to Dec. 14.
The driver is charged with felony involuntary manslaughter. Police are not releasing his name because he is a juvenile.
Judge David O’Donnell recused himself, although it’s unclear why he won’t be handling the case or who will preside over it.
The crash occurred about 8 a.m. on Aug. 31 near the intersection of Nutmeg Court and West Wind Drive, just west of Harrisonburg’s city limits.
Police say the vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, was traveling south on Nutmeg Court when it veered off the road to the right and struck the pedestrians. The Jeep hit two women and five children, killing 19-month-old Kate Beagle of Verona.
Five of the other pedestrians were treated and released at Rockingham Memorial Hospital, while one woman who suffered a serious leg injury was taken first to RMH and then transported to University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.
Police haven’t said what factors led them to charge the defendant with involuntary manslaughter, but law enforcement sources say investigators believe he was speeding at the time of the crash.
The speed limit on Nutmeg Court is 25 mph.
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or firstname.lastname@example.org