A New York state man was charged Wednesday with allowing an unlicensed teenager to drive an SUV that flipped along a Poconos roadway in August, killing three Bucks County teenagers and injuring a fourth.
Michael J. Ware, 53, of Scarsdale, was arraigned Wednesday morning on charges including endangering the welfare of children and involuntary manslaughter, according to Janine Edwards, district attorney of Wayne County, Pa.
The crash near Wallenpaupack Lake Estates killed three 15-year-old Council Rock High School sophomores - Cullen Keffer, Shamus Digney, and Ryan Lesher - and injured a fourth.
That teen, who has not been identified, was released from the hospital soon after the accident.
Edwards said in a statement that Ware gave a 15-year-old girl permission to drive his Chevrolet Suburban on the day of the crash. It was not immediately clear whether he was related to the driver - also from New York state, authorities said - but Edwards did say that Ware had given the girl permission to drive his car on previous occasions.
Edwards also said that a juvenile petition had been filed in the case, but that under state law, her office cannot comment on the identity of the suspect or the charges.
Ware's attorney, Robert Reno, said Ware denies the charges and will fight them in court.
Authorities had announced in August that a 15-year-old girl from New York state had been driving when the crash occurred in a quiet mountain community east of Scranton.
When pulling around a sharp bend, apparently while speeding, the driver lost control of the vehicle and it flipped multiple times, police said.
The driver and another passenger, a 16-year-old girl, both from Westchester County, N.Y., were treated for injuries and released, authorities said.
Edwards said in her statement Wednesday that "this was a horrific tragedy and unfortunately one that could have so easily been prevented."