Monday, Christopher Kelly pleaded not guilty to a charge of negligent operation of a recreational vehicle resulting in the death of James Ward Jr., a freshman at Plymouth North High School. The charge was brought Friday.
“This is what we’ve fought for, we are glad our voices are being heard,” Rhonda Ray, aunt of the victim, told WATD.
James was killed Dec. 9 when he and Kelly collided head on. James was riding his dirt bike with his father and brother when the crash happened near Darby Station Road.
Kelly promised the boy's father that he would meet medical personnel and lead them to the boy, but instead he took off and hid his motorcycle under a tarp at a friend’s house, according to James' family members.
While Kelly was stashing his bike, James died in his father’s arms.In January, Kelly was charged with the misdemeanor offense of leaving the scene of a crash with personal injury.
After the crash, the Registry of Motor Vehicles found Kelly was an immediate threat to the public and suspended his license for the 25th time. According to Kelly’s driving record, his license had been suspended or revoked 24 times before the crash for a wide range of violations, including failure to stop for a pedestrian, speeding and driving with a suspended license.
Kelly defended himself, saying the majority of the charges stem from when he was a teenager with a race car. Since he’s become a father Kelly says he hasn’t had any violations.Read more: