Father of teen driver in fatal SUV crash to be sentenced

| 26 Aug 2015 | 06:46

— A suburban New York man faces up to 21 years in prison for allowing his unlicensed teenage daughter to drive an SUV that crashed in northeastern Pennsylvania last summer, killing three other teens.

Michael Ware, 54, of Scarsdale, New York, is scheduled to be sentenced in Wayne County Court on Thursday. He pleaded guilty last month to three counts each of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment in the Aug. 30 crash.

Prosecutors say Ware gave the keys of his Chevrolet Suburban to his daughter, then 15, who drove five friends to breakfast before losing control of the SUV and flipping it in Paupack Township, in the Pocono Mountains.

The Labor Day weekend crash killed 15-year-old Ryan Lesher, Shamus Digney and Cullen Keffer, sophomores at Council Rock High School in suburban Philadelphia. Three others were hurt.

The teenage driver acknowledged responsibility in juvenile court to vehicular homicide counts and was placed on indefinite probation. She also was ordered to do 300 hours of community service, pay restitution, and write a 2,000-word essay on the impact of her crime. Her attorney, John Stieh, told The Philadelphia Inquirer in May that she was in a “really dark and nasty place" and “doesn't stop thinking about it." He said she hadn't spoken to her father since the crash.

Michael Ware told reporters after his July guilty plea that he was “sorry, very sorry."

Though the charges carry a maximum of more than two decades in prison, Ware is likely to get far less time under state sentencing guidelines.