SARATOGA SPRINGS — Prosecutors have filed charges against a mother and her 15-year-old son, who police say was driving a van that hit and killed a 4-year-old bicyclist.

Regina Tausinga of Saraoga Springs was charged in 4th District Court with misdemeanors of negligent homicide, no proof of insurance and permitting an unlicensed driver to drive.

Tausinga's 15-year-old son, who police haven't named, allegedly was driving unlicensed on Aug. 21 when he hit Cooper Mardesich, who was riding his bike across Parkway Boulevard in Saratoga Springs.

The son was charged last week with three driving-related misdemeanors, though prosecutors declined to name him or his charges.

Defense attorneys Stephen Frazier and Nyal Bodily have been hired to represent the mother.

"It's a sad situation no matter how you look at it," Frazier said. "It's horrible for the poor family who lost a son, and for the family now going through all this."

He said while many of the neighbors are being supportive, the Tausinga family has been harassed by some people in the area as well as through e-mailed comments.

Police say Cooper and his mother were waving to an older sibling who had just boarded a bus.

Cooper then began riding his bicycle across the street, just as the 15-year-old driver attempted to turn left onto Parkway Boulevard. Police say the driver didn't see Cooper in the road and struck him.

Cooper was flown to Primary Children's Medical Center, where he died.

A memorial fund, called the "Fund for Cooper Mardesich," has been set up at the Bank of American Fork in Lehi.

Tausinga is scheduled to make her first appearance in court on Oct. 15 before Judge Lynn W. Davis.


E-mail: [email protected]