CBS Pittsburgh reports that a 12 year old girl, Shamera Harris, who was a 6th grader at Pittsburgh Obama Academy, was killed this weekend after she was run over by her father, who reportedly was under the influence of alcohol. According to reports, Shamera Harris, of East Liberty, had just gone on her very first date earlier in the evening to a movie with a friend from Stanton Heights.
When her parents took the boy home, Shamera Harris left the vehicle to take some pictures with her date. Her father, who also left the vehicle, may have failed to engage the break. The SUV rolled backwards, hit Shamera Harris and dragged her approximately 50-60 feet down a hill before running over her. The car did not stop rolling until it crossed the street and hit a tree.
Unfortunately, also at the scene of the accident were Shamera’s mother and brother who were inside of the vehicle. Reportedly, neither of them was able to stop the vehicle as it rolled down the street. Shamera’s mother also tried to perform CPR on Shamera Harris but could not revive her.
Father of Shamera Harris visibly intoxicated
When police arrived on the scene they concluded that Shamera’s father, 53-year-old Richard Benton, was visibly intoxicated. He refused to submit to a breathalyzer test at the scene of the accident but was later arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
The police will also continue investigations on the SUV and determine whether the mother and brother could not stop the car due to brake failure.
Pittsburgh Public Schools released a statement saying: “New to the school this year, Shamera’s teachers describe her as a quiet, pleasant young lady, who always followed the rules in every one of her classrooms.” The school will have grief counselors on the campus later this week if student’s have questions about the accident.
The boy at the scene has expressed his grief about the accident but will be attending school this week.
DUI penalties in Pennsylvania
Assuming a driver does not have any previous driving under the influence convictions and they are charged and found guilty of DUI in Pennsylvania, they can expect to serve five days to six months in jail, pay fines up to $300 and have their license suspended if they refused a chemical test after their DUI arrest. If a driver has had a DUI in the past ten years, however, they can expect much more severe penalties and fines.
Another consideration is the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the DUI arrest. Pennsylvania has a tiered system for determining DUI penalties. For instance, the higher the driver’s BAC, the more severe the penalties.
If you have been arrested for DUI like Richard Benton, it’s time to talk to a DUI lawyer. DUI fines and penalties, even for first time DUI offenders, can be very severe. In some states you also cannot have a DUI conviction expunged from your driving record.
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