The father of a 15 year old girl who allowed her to drive a car that killed 3 teenagers was sentenced to serve up to 16 years in prison.
Judge Ray Hamill called his behavior “reckless, stupid and selfish.”
Michael Ware of Scarsdale, New York was given a lengthy sentence partly because he lied to investigators about giving his daughter the keys, allowing her to shoulder all the blame for the accident.
“What kind of father does this?” Hamill asked incredulously.
Three boys in the vehicle, Ryan Lesher, Shamus Digney and Cullen Keffer, were killed, according to the police. Officials say the vehicle the teen girl was driving was registered to her father. It is believed that the driver and some other girls picked up the boys and then drove to a local restaurant for breakfast. While they were driving home along a left hand curve, the vehicle’s right tire traveled off of the road and it flipped over multiple times. According to court documents, Ware permitted his daughter to drive on several occasions before the crash, including from New York to their vacation home in Pennsylvania.
Ware told authorities at the crash scene that his daughter took the vehicle without permission. The girl backed his story “so as not to get him in trouble,” according to court documents. It wasn’t until two months later that one of the passengers came forward and told police that Ware had given his daughter the keys.
“Your desire to be the cool dad devastated an entire community,” said Ryan’s mother, Lisa Lesher.
“He basically gave his daughter a gun and put the bullets in it for her,” said Wilson Black, Shamus’ uncle.
Ware’s daughter was sentenced to probation for driving without a license. She was reportedly required to write apology letters, pay thousands of dollars in restitution, perform community service, and could serve probation until she is 21.