Teen Gets Probation for Deadly Crash

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HONESDALE -- The teen behind the wheel without a license when she crashed, killing three boys in Wayne County learned her punishment Tuesday afternoon.

The teen driver said she's sorry to the parents of those teens.

Julia Ware listened as a mother and a sister of two of those victims spoke about the agony they've felt since the deadly crash on Labor Day weekend.

Now the teen from the New York City suburbs will be on probation possibly until she's 21, but she'll live with the tragedy her whole life.

Ware, now 16 years old, left the Wayne County Probation office in Honesdale a free person.

She was behind the wheel of the vehicle in late August when it rolled near Hamlin. Three boys from Bucks County died just as they were about to start their sophomore year: Ryan Lesher, Shamus Digney, and Cullen Keffer.

"We hope Miss Ware learned a valuable life lesson for all this, and she understands that she hurt a lot of people, created a lot of sadness and misery," said Joe Keffer, Cullen's father.

There were few if any dry eyes in the courtroom as family spoke of the boys, young athletes with promising futures and big, caring hearts.

Ware was 15 when the crash happened. Her father gave her permission to drive, according to troopers.

A judge chose probation as a punishment for Ware, along with community service. She's also required to write apology letters and pay thousands in restitution.

"This girl is going to be devastated the rest of her life because her father chose to act as a buddy rather than a father," said John Stieh, Ware's attorney.

Families of the three victims left the Wayne County Courthouse, vowing to be back to see Ware's father, Michael, go on trial. That's scheduled for July.

"He needs to be convicted and sentenced to fullest extent of the law," added Keffer.

Still, Ryan Lesher's parents said they believe Ware got off easy. But the judge said juvenile detention is not the right place for her and the district attorney agrees.

"The words that came from her and the words that came from the families that supported the fact that they've lost their sons, three teenagers taken away, really weighed heavy on everyone there," said Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards.

In court, Ware told the judge she thinks about the crash and the three victims every day and that she wishes she had been the one to die.

In addition to probation, Ware will not be able to get a license until the court decides she can drive.

Again, her father is set to go to trial this summer.

29 comments

  • Carl

    Ridiculous!.. She’ll go to her prom, graduation, and on to college while these 3 boys are dead!.. I’m sure while she’s on probation she’ll do every BUT think about those boys nobody knows, far away in her New York City school… She tried to be Miss Popularity, killed and got away with it thanks to an ignorant judge. May your conscience rot with the devil you spoiled brat!

  • Bless You

    To the parents of the three boys I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers. To the young woman who took their lives, make yours count, perhaps you can do some of your community service for Students Against Disastrous Decisions. Based on your statements you are remorseful and a court of law gave you a second chance. Not everyone gets a second chance. Your story has the potential to save other lives become a tireless advocate for responsible decision making.

  • Eric

    Wow, such a shame….for those families. The girl as well as her father should be punished to tuefull extent of the law. ‘Juvenile detention isn’t the place for her’ you have got to be kidding me. Thats by far the most ridiculous crap I’ve heard in a long time, just because she’s a young teen and a young teen girl in fact, doesn’t mean its not ‘fit’ for her. She carelessly drove to the pint she murdered 3 young boys, regardless of age, or race or sex, these acts should be punished no matter who the person may be. Im sorry but an apology and probation are way to lenient of a consequence. Pathetic, and to think her family will be paying her restitution for her , while the other families have to suffer for the rest of their lives …but its okay….at least she apologized….please if that’s all it takes then people would be out doing horrible things to one another constantly. If the laws are made and the consequences set then why do they always tend to bend and break their own set in stone rules and regulations to fit their needs. Whats the point in having then or any of it in that cas? Unfair. The girl should be in juvi until 18 and then retried as an adult, the father will probably take the brunt of the actions he may have set in motion but didn’t cause. The man should be punished yes. But at the same time he wasn’t driving carelessly and he’s not the one to have killed three innocent people, regardless of what happened it was still indirectly his fault but if the man gets charged with the teens deaths, I also have to say if thats the case, that it is also hugely unfair.

  • REBECCA

    Kids around here are being sent to juvenile detention centers for punching each other and she only gets probation because she’s not fit for juvenile detention? Unfreakingbelievable. My deepest sympathys to the families that lost their boys. I hope her father is prosecuted and you find some sense of justice.

  • diane van buskirk (@tylerloveb)

    I CANT BELIVE SHE ONLY GOT PROBATION WHAT WAS THE JUDGE THINKING I M IM AGING HOW THESE PARENTS FEEL THOSE 3 BOYS GONE FOR EVER OH WHAT KIND OF JUDGE WAS HE WORKING FOR MY HEART IS BREAKING IN SIDE TO THINK OF THESE POOR PARENTS GOD BLESS THE PARENTS OF THE 3 KIDS THAT DIED

  • ursula@comcast.net

    Did the 3 teens that died know she was 15 and did not have a license? just wondering

    • Chad

      At this point in time, it doesn’t really matter now whether they did or didn’t Because we can’t ask them .. and as teens we are to excited to ever ask to see driver license, insurance, registration before getting into a vehicle. We automatically assume everything is legit and legal. I don”t think they were close friends anyhow where everyone would know who has licenses. She was from NY visiting summer home here. The boys she drove were from here in PA.

  • Nope...

    So we can charge little KIDS as adults, and we can send KIDS to jail, but if you’re 15 you don’t understand. Kill three people, and get off with community service? She should have been charged BY THE LAW with three counts of Vehicular Homicide, which each count carries penalties that include as many as seven years in prison, $15,000 in fines and a three-year license suspension. If we are going to give one person a break, we need to give everyone one.

    • Charlie

      In my act 235 law book , its called MENS REA, the mental state, all persons above a certain age are presumed to have knowledge of right and wrong, its 9 yrs old in pa, she knew she should t have been driving, and section 2504 , involuntary manslaughter, its recklessly or negligently causing the death of another person, which is a misdemeaner of the first degree, 5 yrs per person, AND SHE WALKS

  • your arms should be chopped of so you can't shoot, salute or give a hoot

    as we drop bombs on children in other countries, this nation has bloodlust
    wait till they start bombing us, and everyone looses a child & everything else they love

  • Invalid

    she killed 3 people and she gets probation and has to write i am sorry notes to their families? are you serious?

  • Liz

    Does anyone here have sympathy for this girl? Try for a minute to imagine how she feels. Not the parents of the boys, the driver. She was 15. Old enough to understand it was wrong? Sure. But certainly at an age where kids think theyre invincible.

    She’d probably done it a dozen times before. This time she wasn’t so lucky. Those boys were her FRIENDS. Try to imagine killing 3 of your friends in a car accident because of your own immature stupidity.

    I’m not saying she deserves nothing but I certainly don’t think she needs locked up the rest of her life. She’s a child. Some of you need to learn empathy..

    • Nope...

      The law isn’t about sympathy, it’s about did they break the law, or didn’t they. Did she get behind a wheel without a license, uninsured and kill three people? YES. If she didn’t get behind the wheel, would those three people still be alive? YES, so she should be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Not write a sorry note, that’s not justice. She should be sitting in jail with the countless other kids who are sent there everyday.

    • Nope...

      Try to see how she feels? Try for a minute to imagine how the boys families feel. Some girl kills your kid then walks out free as a bird, with a slap on the wrist with community service, a suspended license and ‘probation’, unless she is doing drugs, that won’t be an issue either. If she didn’t have her license suspended, later she wont be able to get insurance anyway, she will be denied, or be forced to pay something ridicules like 10k a month.
      How would it feel to YOU, to lose your child, mom, dad, grandmother, or whoever in a situation like this, and see them walk away?

    • Less faith in people

      And what does that teach the idiots that are as dumb as she is? If they’re ignorant enough they won’t be punished? Fear is all that controls some morons.

  • Mad In Hazleton

    Teen Gets Probation for Deadly Crash……………………………………
    This is such a joke, you really think this chic shows remorse, or regret….Nope, she’s laughing on the inside because she pull one over on you dupes in Pa…..she killed three people, and gets a slap on the wrist……..LOL….

  • Tanner

    That Child should be getting much more than just a slap on the wrist. yes she is just a kid , but she is old enough to know what she was doing. Although her father should be at fault for some of this, it is that girl that should be getting that punishment more than him. And taking her driving license away from her, is not going to stop her from getting on the road again, it certainly did not stop her from getting in that car and killing those three teens….Its almost sickening, you have people with drugs get put away longer than someone who killed three people for her own stupidity.

  • debra

    how can someone who did such a horrific cime get away with Probation???These people lost children and she gets Probation??Wheres the justice in this for the grieving parents?

  • Saddened

    May God help the families of those 3 boys whose lives were taken cope with the grief they will feel for the rest of their lives. You will see them again and they are looking down at you from heaven.

  • Chad

    I am totally sickened by the outcome of this. Any other place in America the teen would have been sent to juvenile detention and never, ever allowed a driver license for LIFE….She killed, not 1 , not 2 but 3 teen kids by her hands. Doesn’t even matter if her Father gave her permission to drive.Which no one really knows for sure. ( I know I would never give permission ) could be just saying that so teen gets leniency ..but, regardless, She is at the age to use common sense as I am assuming she represented herself as a 3.4 gpa, never got in trouble before, no drug or alcohol use, respectful etc. So you can’t tell me she was not intelligent enough to say no to driving that car that night.

    Community service, writing apology letters, Probation ? ? Nothing but 2nd grade punishment. Community service and visitation to probation officer better be taking place up this way in PA and not given special leniency to take place in NY where this teen lives.

  • hadenough

    I cannot imagine having to live with the loss of what she did..however, I do think she should’ve done juvie until she was 21 definitely and then maybe she would have her new lease on life even though those who perished at her hand won’t have that chance. We have to believe they’re in a better place than here where awful things like this can happen albeit that is little consolation for those who love them and will miss them! As for her idiot father? Throw whatever you can at him! What a dope! Where is the father now? Going about his merry business?

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