Teen pleads in German Twp. crash that killed toddler, 3 others

A 16-year-old admitted to charges filed against him in connection with a fatal crash on state Route 4 in April that killed four people, including a 23-month-old boy.

The teenager entered an admission to four counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, the juvenile court equivalent to a guilty plea, according to court records. He is due back Oct. 1 in juvenile court for sentencing.

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The crash took place on April 30 on state route 4 near Eby Road. In the crash, 23-month-old Andrew Johnson and his mother, Ashley Mance, 26, of Germantown, were killed. Also killed were Rebecca Roberts, 61, and her daughter, Katie Roberts, 31, of Germantown, who were in a 2012 Chrylser Town and Country minivan driven by a 66-year-old man.

The driver of the Town and Country and a 7-year-old girl also were injured in the crash.

A German Twp. crash report says a 2005 blue Chrysler driven by the teen and Mance’s vehicle, a 2008 Chevrolet, were northbound on state Route 4, while the other vehicle was southbound.

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“(The teen’s vehicle) was passing (Mance’s vehicle) and caused (Mance’s vehicle’s) right two tires to exit the right side of the road,” the crash report says. “(Mance’s vehicle) then lost control and crossed the center line into southbound traffic. (Mance’s vehicle) was then struck by (the Roberts’ vehicle), causing (Mance’s vehicle) to roll onto its top.”

“(The teen’s vehicle) then fled the scene,” the crash report says.

The crash prompted officials to ask the public for information about a black or dark-colored vehicle that was a part of the crash. German Twp. Police Chief Joseph Andzik said his department was committed to solving this case.

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“We work as hard as we can on any case, but because of the amount of people who perished and were hurt in this crash, especially children, some of the officers went a little extra,” Andzik said.

He said detectives and officers reviewed numerous surveillance videos from neighbors and businesses to look for vehicles that were around Mance around the time of the crash. He said the case broke when about a month after the crash, someone who knew the teen’s passenger contacted police.

Interviews took place, and through more investigation, the teen was arrested.

“We wanted to give some kind of resolution to the families that were involved,” Andzik said. “And that’s indicative to most people in our profession as well.”

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