5-year-old girl injured in crash involving Britt Reid ‘functioning like a baby,’ attorney says
KANSAS CITY, MO. – The 5-year-old girl, seriously injured in an accident with the chief’s former assistant coach Britt Reid, will “suffer a traumatic brain injury for the rest of her life,” according to a lawyer representing her family.
“She may be 5 years old, but she functions like a baby,” said Tom Porto, who is representing the family, of Ariel Young’s condition. “She can hear her mother’s voice. She perks up when she hears it. She can see her mother, but she does not recognize other things.
“One of the saddest parts of this story is knowing that Ariel’s best friend is her cousin. And when her cousin comes to Ariel it looks like Ariel is the normal Ariel, and her 6 year old cousin doesn’t really know how far that has happened. It’s heartbreaking. “
Reid was accused Monday of driving drunk, resulting in serious assault that could result in up to seven years in prison if convicted.
Ariel’s family wanted the “most serious charge that could be brought,” according to Porto.
“I will tell you, however, that no punishment will ever make anyone happy, whatever the result,” said Porto.
Jackson County Attorney Jean Peters Baker said that while jail time could be “a little short,” it must work under Missouri law.
“This is the highest charge I can bring under Missouri law for the facts and circumstances I have on this case,” Baker said in getting justice for this little girl. “
Ariel was in a coma for several days after the February 4th crash. She was released from the hospital on April 2, but still cannot walk or speak, according to Porto.
“She still cannot feed herself,” said Porto. “She relies on a G-tube going into her stomach for basic nutrition.”
Dr. Emily Dennis, a professor of neurology at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles, told the American Academy of Neurology in 2017 that TBI is a “leading cause” of disability in children, but the results and extent of treatment are difficult to predict.
“While injury severity certainly does play a role, there is still a lot of uncertainty – you often have two patients with similar injuries who have different recoveries,” Dennis said of her study of TBI recovery in children.
Even so, Porto said filing charges is a relief for Ariel’s family.
“It’s by no means over for the family,” he said. “This is a step in a long pursuit of justice.”
Therefore, the family is in no hurry to bring the case to justice.
“What we really want to know are the real, long deficits Ariel will suffer before making any decision,” said Porto.
According to Porto, doctors expect Ariel to struggle with long-term brain damage.
“We are two months away from a traumatic brain injury, a pediatric traumatic brain injury …” said Porto. “Nothing is certain, but it seems that this is going to be a long-term problem that she becomes.” hold out for the rest of their lives. “
Baker said they want Ariel’s family to focus on their healing.
“We want to make sure we are relieving so much pressure on them so that they can focus on them and improve their health,” said Baker. “Hopefully that will happen in the near future, but she still has a long way to go. Let’s worry about it. We’re going to do this as professionals and we want justice for her.”