A 53-year-old Pittsburgh man that was driving his 12-year-old daughter on her first date ended up fatally striking the girl with the vehicle when she stepped out to take photographs at the boy's house.
The man, Richard Benton, was charged with a DUI by police officers that arrived on the scene and smelled alcohol on his breath, Fox News reports.
Benton had reportedly dropped off his daughter’s date at his house when the man attempted to leave the vehicle in order to take a picture of the couple. The man reportedly thought that the car’s gear shifter was in park, but when he stepped out the SUV rolled backwards, striking and dragging his daughter. The vehicle, a Ford Explorer, finally stopped moving when it struck a tree about 50 feet away.
Police Sgt. Tom Huerbin explained that he believed Benton thought he had shifted the car into park.
“He thought the vehicle was in park. In fact, it must have been out of gear and went, ran over top of the female, dragging her down the hill and then crashed into the yard,” Huerbin said, according to the New York Daily News.
Although Benton was charged with a DUI, it is still uncertain whether or not he was directly responsible for failing to properly shift the gear into park.
Local police Lt. Daniel Hermann explained that the department is investigating the vehicle in order to fully understand the events that occurred.
“If there’s reason to believe he’s responsible for this girl’s death, then there will be (more) charges. It’s one of those things where you have to go wait and see. You have a lot more investigation to go,” Hermann said.