Prosecutor wants teen driver in fatal Walled Lake hit-and-run to be tried as adult

4-car crash killed 13-year-old girl, hurt 5 others

Deadly hit-and-run case headed to prosecutors in Walled Lake

WALLED LAKE, Mich. – A teenager is facing charges in an Oakland County hit-and-run that killed a 13-year-old girl and injured five other people, and the county prosecutor wants to try that teen as an adult.

New charges have been issued against a now-16-year-old from West Bloomfield, whose exact identity has not been revealed because they are a minor. The teen was charged earlier this month as the driver in a Walled Lake hit-and-run crash that involved multiple vehicles, killed a girl, and hurt several others.

On March 22, the then-15-year-old driver of a Jeep Gladiator was reportedly fleeing from police when they collided with two other vehicles at the intersection of West Maple and Decker roads. That collision set off a series of collisions, with three other cars involved.

A four-vehicle crash that occurred in Walled Lake on Wednesday, March 22, left a young girl dead and others likely critically injured. A driver and a passenger believed to have caused crash fled the scene and are being sought by police. (WDIV)

According to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office, the driver of the Jeep was traveling at 98 mph and drove through multiple red lights leading up to the multiple-vehicle crash. A passenger in the jeep, identified as 19-year-old Gavin Kassab, reportedly recorded the posted the police chase live on social media before the crash.

Both the driver and Kassab fled the scene of the crash on foot, leaving the vehicle behind. The driver was said to be operating the Jeep without a license.

Among those hurt at the scene was Erica Carrothers, 51, who was driving her two daughters, ages 13 and 10, home from skating practice when they were struck by the Jeep.

The 13-year-old, identified as Piper Carrothers, was taken to the hospital where she died from her injuries. The 10-year-old girl was ejected from the vehicle and sustained significant head and neck injuries, the family said. The mother was also hospitalized with serious injuries.

---> More: Parents discuss crash that killed daughter on way home from skating practice in Walled Lake

Piper Carrothers, 13, died in March on her way home from skating practice in Walled Lake. (WDIV)

Three others were treated for their injuries from the crash and released that same night.

On May 11, the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office charged Kassab and the driver with several counts related to the hit-and-run. The driver was initially charged as a juvenile, and could have possibly avoided jail time.

The prosecutor’s office upped the charges against the driver on May 24, and is asking the court to try -- and potentially sentence -- the teenage driver as an adult in this case. New charges have been brought against the driver and Kassab.

Both Kassab and the 16-year-old are now facing the following charges:

  • Manslaughter -- a felony charge that carries up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $7,500.
  • Reckless driving causing death -- a felony charge that carries up to 15 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
  • First-degree fleeing and eluding causing death -- a felony charge that carries up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 fine.
  • Two counts of second-degree fleeing and eluding.

The 16-year-old is also facing one count of failing to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident -- a felony charge that carries up to 5 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

The new charges come after the Carrothers family said they initially believed prosecutors undercharged the teens, especially the driver. The family told Local 4 on Wednesday that they were satisfied with the new charges.

Gavin Anthony Kassab (Oakland County Sheriff's Office)

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.