LEWISTON — Lewiston police charged the driver in the death of a Lewiston Middle School student Nov. 3 with a civil violation.

In a statement Thursday, the family of the student expressed disappointment with the charge.

Jayden Cho-Sargent, 13, of Lewiston was killed when he was struck in the crosswalk while crossing Main Street at the intersection of Frye Street by a Ford F-150 pickup truck driven by Laurie Young, 54, of Paris.

Following a lengthy investigation with consultation from the Androscoggin County District Attorney’s Office, Lewiston police charged Young on Wednesday with the civil motor vehicle violation of failing to yield to a pedestrian in a walkway, resulting in death. 

According to a news release from interim Police Chief Brian O’Malley, the investigation included “accident reconstruction and cellphone analysis.” O’Malley said records indicate Young was not on her cellphone at the time of the incident.

If convicted of the charge, she could be fined up to $5,000 and have her driver’s license suspended for between 14 days and four years, according to the release.

O’Malley said Young is scheduled to appear in 8th District Court on April 5 to answer the charge.

Speaking through the Lewiston law firm Berman & Simmons, Cho-Sargent’s mother, Kellie Foley, wrote Thursday: “We are hurt and disappointed by the decision announced by Lewiston Police. Our hope was there would be more accountability through the criminal justice system.

“There are many misconceptions that we want to address. Jayden was not wearing dark clothing the morning he was killed, as some have stated. He did not have a cellphone. He was more than halfway through the crosswalk when he was hit. He was over 5 feet tall and easily visible. There are simply no excuses for a driver who did not stop.

“Jayden didn’t do anything wrong. He was simply walking to school — something he had done many times. For anyone to blame him is shameful.

“Losing Jayden has broken our hearts. For those who knew and loved him, every day is a struggle. We would give anything for one more conversation, one more laugh, one more hug. The only thing we can do is honor Jayden and make sure he is never forgotten.”


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