Donegal Township mother charged after girl falls from pickup truck

March 18, 2014

A Donegal Township mother was charged Monday by township police with endangering the welfare of children and other charges after her 4-year-old daughter fell out of a moving pickup truck last November.

Kelly Frances Keaveney, 39, of 135 Main St., Apt. D, West Alexander, also was charged with failure to drive at a safe speed, unlawful activities and failure to properly secure her child.

Donegal police, in court documents filed with District Judge Ethan Ward, said the charges stem from transporting the girl in an unsafe vehicle. The charges against Keaveney will proceed by summons.

The girl was injured Nov. 14 when she fell out of a moving pickup truck, driven by her mother on Route 40 at Lake Road in Donegal.

A witness told police that he saw the truck traveling west at a high speed when the driver lost control. The witness then saw something fall out of the vehicle. As the truck went further up the road, a child safety seat also fell out.

A second witness told police that she saw Keaveney along Route 40 putting fuel into the truck. The girl was standing along the side of the road with her mother. The witness also told police that Keaveney appeared to be in a hurry.

When police arrived, they found the girl on the ground with severe head injuries and significant blood loss. She was also complaining that she could not feel the lower part of her body. Keaveney was screaming and crying, police said. The girl was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital for treatment. No information on her condition or prognosis was available Tuesday.

Keaveney reportedly told police that she knew the truck was not safe and she only used it to go to the grocery store. She also allegedly told police that she did not like putting the children in the truck.

State police inspected the truck that had been impounded. Neither the driver of passenger door would properly latch. The floorboards were so rusted that the ground could be seen and the seat belt system did not work properly.

A preliminary hearing is set for April 29 before Ward.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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