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Father charged with DUI after his vehicle hits and kills daughter

Richard Benton stepped out of his car to take a picture of his daughter when the vehicle rolled striking and killing her.
Richard Benton stepped out of his car to take a picture of his daughter when the vehicle rolled striking and killing her.
Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

A little 12 year-old girl stepped out of her father’s SUV to have pictures taken with a boy after their first date. Her father's vehicle then struck and killed her. He has been charged with DUI.

Richard Benton, 53, refused a field sobriety and breath tests. Officers responding to the scene wanted the tests because Benton was slurring his words and smelled of alcohol.

Benton told the police officers that he thought the vehicle was in park. The little girl’s mother stated, Benton “was messing around with the gear shifter” before he got out of the vehicle to take the picture after dropping off the girls’ date.

The car then began rolling backward and stuck Shamera Harris. The SUV then dragged Harris 50 feet before it came to a stop after hitting a tree.

Police Sgt. Tom Huerbin stated, “He [Benton] misjudged it from what we’re being told.” Lt. Daniel Herrmann called the incident a “terrible accident” and revealed that police will inspect the vehicle to determine if it was working properly.

“Herrmann said, “If there’s reason to believe he’s responsible for this girl’s death, then there will be more charges. It’s one of those things where you have to go wait and see. You have a lot more investigation to go.”

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