ROOSEVELT Duchesne County prosecutors have charged a woman and her 14-year-old daughter with manslaughter in the death of a toddler who they say was run over by the teenager in May.
Nicole Annette Rodrigues, 34, also faces misdemeanor counts of failure to remain at the scene of an accident that resulted in a death and allowing an unlicensed person to drive. The teenager, who is not being identified by prosecutors because of her age, also faces one count of operating a vehicle as an underage person.
Roosevelt police say that on May 15, Rodrigues let her daughter get behind the wheel of a sport utility vehicle. The teen, with Rodrigues in the passenger seat, ran over 22-month-old Franchesca Isabel Montes as she pulled forward out of the driveway of the little girl's home, according to police.
Roosevelt Police Chief Rick Harrison told the Deseret News that after the accident Rodrigues left her daughter at the scene and fled.
"(Rodrigues) said she was scared and left," Harrison said.
Harrison said Rodrigues' daughter and another juvenile at the home began to immediately scream for help. Montes was taken by personal vehicle to nearby Uintah Basin Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.
Hospital personnel notified law enforcement of the incident.
Police have said their investigation into Montes' death was initially hampered by inconsistent statements from the families of the victim and the 14-year-old driver.
Deputy Duchesne County Attorney Grant Charles said prosecutors have opted to file a juvenile court petition against the teenager, but could still seek to have her tried as an adult.
"It is possible," Charles said, "but we have no intent of doing that at this point."No date has been set for Rodrigues' initial court appearance. A juvenile court hearing for her daughter has not been scheduled either.
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