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Tragic accident claims life of 4-year-old girl


Uncredited Star Beacon Story

ANDOVER TOWNSHIP — An Andover woman has been charged with the death of a 4-year-old girl Saturday evening, according to the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department.

Cassandra J. Webster, 26, of 5206 Stanhope Kelloggsville Road, Andover, was arraigned Monday morning in Eastern County Court on one second-degree felony count of aggravated vehicular homicide and one first-degree misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while under the influence, according to court records.
According to a release from the county Sheriff’s Department, deputies responded to Webster’s address at about 5:30 p.m., after receiving a 911 call that a vehicle had struck a child in the residence’s yard.

The child was transported by Community Care Ambulance to University Hospitals Andover Medical Center, where she died from her injuries.

Webster, the driver, was ultimately jailed. The county Sheriff’s Department traffic citation in the incident shows she had a blood alcohol content of .037, which is below the legal limit of .08.

Sheriff’s Lt. Terry Moisio declined to provide further details on the incident Monday, as the investigation is ongoing, but did say investigators were awaiting results of urinalysis performed on Webster.

Webster pleaded not guilty to the OVI charge, according to court records. A plea on the homicide charge is not specified. Her bond was set at $100,000 or 10 percent cash or surety and includes continuous alcohol monitoring. Webster posted that bond Monday and was released from jail.

Webster’s attorney, Malcolm Douglas of Jefferson, said much misinformation about the case has spread on social media since it was first reported Monday and cautioned public judgment until the county Sheriff’s Department’s investigation is complete.

“Any time you have an accident like this, it’s a complete human tragedy,” he told the Star Beacon Monday. “It’s a tragedy not just of the family, of the victim — it’s a tragedy for anyone near it.

“I would want people to recognize that it’s an ongoing investigation before they jump to conclusions.”

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