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Ashley Paige Baker is charged with reckless driving among other things in the May crash.
Delaney Crowder Bishopriggs (left), 4, and Jaden Baker, 8, were killed in the May 10 wreck.
Ashley Paige Baker
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
A Lexington woman has been charged in a May crash that killed her 8-year-old daughter and her 4-year-old niece.
Ashley Paige Baker, 36, was charged July 12 with misdemeanor reckless driving and failure to maintain control of her vehicle, driving on a suspended license, and failure to secure a child 7 years old or younger in a proper safety restraint, according to court records.
Baker was at the wheel of a 2004 Honda Odyssey minivan on May 10 on the U.S. 11 Bypass bridge over the Maury River in Lexington when she crashed just before 8:30 p.m., police have said. She and her front-seat passenger, Brookley Summer Crowder, 26, of Waynesboro, were hospitalized for several days following the wreck.
Jaden Paige Baker, 8, and her 4-year-old cousin Delaney Faithe Crowder Bishopriggs both died, according to officials and published obituaries.
Ashley Baker and Brookley Crowder are half-sisters, according to Bucky Joyce, the commonwealth’s attorney for Rockbridge County and the city of Lexington, whose office investigated the wreck. Two other juvenile family members, including Baker’s son Durham, were injured in the single-vehicle crash.
Police have said Baker’s southbound van crossed the center line, left the roadway and struck a bridge abutment. Lexington Police Chief Al Thomas declined Tuesday to elaborate on what led up to the crash but said the reckless driving charge “was the appropriate charge based on the investigation.”
A strong thunderstorm moved through the area about the time of the wreck, but Thomas said it was only lightly raining when the crash occurred.
“We looked at all factors,” he said. “We didn’t have standing water on the road. It wasn’t a downpour.”
The commonwealth’s attorney said Delaney Crowder Bishopriggs was not properly harnessed in a child seat meant for her age when she died.
Thomas said she was wearing a seat belt meant for adults.
Baker’s license had been suspended by the DMV for insurance monitoring, Thomas said, which typically means a person failed to pay their premium or their policy had expired.
Thomas wasn’t sure when Baker’s license was suspended. He said Baker might not have even been aware she was driving illegally.
Baker could not be reached Tuesday for comment.
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