US

Woman Sentenced to 15 Days in Jail for Car Crash That Left 8-Year-Old Girl Dead

By Zachary Stieber

A woman who slammed into an 8-year-old girl with her car, killing the child, was sentenced to 15 days in jail on May 13.

The crash happened in September 2018 in Berea, Ohio.

Gloria Bartek, 77, hit Khloe Nida as the girl was taking milk into her house.

Bartek pleaded no contest to negligent vehicular homicide, a misdemeanor.

In addition to the jail time, Bartek’s license was suspended for five years, reported Fox 8. She was also fined $500 and put on probation. She could have received up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Bartek said a few things in the courtroom prior to the sentencing but did not apologize for killing Khloe. “I understand what the family’s going through,” she said.

Khloe Nida, 8, was struck and killed in September 2018. (In loving memory of Khloe Mae Nida/GoFundMe)

Some said that Bartek didn’t seem to ever express remorse, including at the scene of the crash. Authorities said Bartek’s car was fine and haven’t explained how she rocketed across a church parking lot and a road before slamming into Khloe.

“[The] car went out of control and hit several cars and also an 8-year-old girl who ended up passing away,” Brook Park Police Chief James Foster told WKYC last year, noting authorities were probing the case.

Craig Bashein, who is representing Khloe’s family, said that the investigation ended up leaving lots of questions unanswered.

“We certainly have a lot of hard questions as to what happened and why,” he told Fox 8 in April. “From the beginning, it seems like this driver has not taken responsibility for what occurred. Immediately after the accident, she claimed a defect or a problem in her motor vehicle, that would cause her car to travel what appears to be over 200 yards at a high rate of speed.”

The family is pursuing a wrongful death civil lawsuit against Bartek.

The family also launched a GoFundMe fundraiser after Khloe’s death that is still accepting donations.

Khloe Nida, 8, was struck and killed in September 2018. (In loving memory of Khloe Mae Nida/GoFundMe)

Khloe’s aunt Tabitha Nida wrote that the crash changed the family’s lives “in a blink of an eye.”

“My beautiful niece Khloe passed away at the age of 8. She was in our backyard when she was hit by a car that came speeding up our driveway at over 65 mph. She was rushed to southwest hospital but unfortunately passed away,” Nida wrote.

“She was a smart, talented, brave young girl who always looked after her younger brother, sister, and friends. She loved school and sports. She played softball and was in cheerleading. She was just voted cheer captain for her strong leadership skills and always having a smile on her face,” Nida added.

“When Khloe was at home she loved making slime and hanging out with her family. Khloe always put her heart into everything she did, always giving 100 percent. Nothing will ever be the same without her here, but I know she will always be with us in our hearts.

car crash leaves teen dead
A police car in a file photo. (Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images)

Fatal Car Crash Statistics

The Department of Transportation said in October 2018 that there were 37,133 deaths from motor vehicle crashes in 2017, a decrease of almost 2 percent from 2016. In comparison, there was an increase of about 6.5 percent from 2015 to 2016 and an increase of about 8 percent from 2014 to 2015. Pedestrian fatalities also declined by about 2 percent.

While deaths in both categories declined, officials said more can be done. “Dangerous actions such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence are still putting many Americans, their families and those they share the road with at risk,” said National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Deputy Administrator Heidi King in a statement. “Additionally, we must address the emerging trend of drug-impaired driving to ensure we are reducing traffic fatalities and keeping our roadways safe for the traveling public.”

The deaths occurred over 34,247 motor vehicle crashes, resulting in 11.4 deaths per 100,000 people and 1.1 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. The highest fatality rate was in Mississippi, with 23.1 deaths per 100,000 people, and the highest death rate per 100 million miles was in South Carolina, with 1.8 deaths, according to an analysis of Department of Transportation data by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

A preliminary estimate of the first half of 2018 (pdf) showed that an estimated 17,120 people died in car crashes from January through June, which would be a decrease of about 3 percent from the previous year. The statistics indicate the fifth consecutive quarter in which traffic fatalities declined.