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Mom Charged For 7-Year-Old Brutally Killed After Falling Out SUV Window

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Authorities charged a mother and her boyfriend for the death of a 7-year-old girl who tragically died when she fell from the back of a moving SUV on a California freeway.

The incident happened Saturday, July 2nd around 3 a.m. according to an ABC7 report. The child’s 28-year-old mother, Veronda Gladney, was driving along the 5 Freeway in Santa Clarita when the girl fell out. She exited a broken window from the back of a 1999 Lincoln Navigator.

Multiple Cars Hit Child On Freeway

California highway patrol officers confirmed that the girl was not strapped into a child seat when she somehow fell. Multiple vehicles ran into the girl moving at freeway speeds, California Highway Patrol officers told NBC Los Angeles.

“[The girl] was in the very back portion of the 1999 Lincoln Navigator,” said CHP officer Joshua Greengard. “There was witnesses saying that she was either hanging out or playing in the back portion, the very very back portion of it. That window was already broken out, and it looks like she may have fallen out of the vehicle and then tragically died.” 9

Mother Pleads Not Guilty To Manslaughter

Authorities charged Gladney, who witnesses say was distraught after the incident, with one felony and one misdemeanor count of child abuse causing death, and a single felony count of vehicular manslaughter.

Gladney’s boyfriend, Michael Branch, who was also in the SUV, police arrested for child endangerment. A judge released him on his own recognizance by a judge Wednesday afternoon. Authorities charged him with one misdemeanor count of child abuse.

Both suspects pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

According to California law, adults must secure children under the age of 8 in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat of a vehicle. For children who are 8 or 4 feet 9 inches in height, an adult may secure by a booster seat, but at a minimum, they must wear a seat belt.


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