WILDWOOD, Fla. – Despite what law enforcement said were at least 100 spectators at an illegal street race that left a 2-year-old boy dead in a crash – prosecutors said they had to settle for only six years of probation for the suspect at the wheel due to a lack of witnesses.
Terry Levon Killings, 30, had been accused of racing another ATV on a rural road in Sumter County in February of 2015, according to the Florida Highway Patrol and Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.
He apparently swerved to miss one child that had wandered onto the road, lost control of the all-terrain-vehicle, careened into the crowd that had lined the street and struck Jakhyrian Graham and other spectators.
Jakhyrian and others in the crowd were taken to a hospital where the toddler later died from his injuries.
The child was being babysat at the time of the crash.
The sheriff’s office and other officials said that prior to the crash on the stretch of County Road 235 in the Royal community of Wildwood, there had been regular drag races that drew large crowds. Assistant State Attorney Bill Catto, who prosecuted the case, said Monday he had a difficult time getting witnesses to come forward.
And although witnesses told the mother what happened, they wouldn’t talk to investigators, Catto added.
The plea deal was made in September and Killings was adjudicated guilty on charges of vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving causing serious bodily injury. He must serve 18 months of partial house arrest that will be followed by the probation and his driver’s license will be revoked for five years.
Catto said Killings, who was arrested in the case later in 2015, could have faced 20 years in prison on the charges.