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Driver Pleads Guilty, Was Using Phone When Car Hit, Killed Grandfather, Toddlers

 

 

A woman pleaded guilty to charges that she ran over and killed a grandfather and twin toddlers, and injured two others in Weaver Road in Florence three years ago.

Jessica Hood, 24, pleaded guilty to three counts of second degree manslaughter and two counts of fourth degree assault. She will be sentenced in April.

Charles Napier, 52, was walking on Weaver Road with his 28-year old daughter and each was pulling a wagon with kids inside. Hood's vehicle plowed into them. Napier and two 18-month old twin sisters, his grandchildren, died. The woman and a boy were injured.

After initially denying that she was distracted, Hood admitted that she had been using her phone, trying to switch an auxiliary cord to change the music in the car.

"She traveled almost one thousand feet on a straight stretch of Weaver Road in Florence in fourteen to sixteen seconds and never perceived the three adults pulling two bright red wagons with three beautiful children, her car drifting off the roadway by almost its full width," said Boone & Gallatin Commonwealth's Attorney Linda Tally Smith. "The driver said she never saw them."

There were three passengers in Hood's car. "Well, they didn't see anything either because they were busy staring at their own cell phones," Smith said.

The case was investigated by the Florence Police, the Boone County Sheriff's Office, and the FBI's Cellular Analysis Response Team.

-Staff report

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