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Birth:
PA 1
Death:
21 Jan 2007 1
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Full Name:
Kayla Miller 1
Birth:
PA 1
Birth:
17 Feb 1990 1
Death:
21 Jan 2007 1

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Stories

Teen dies in Sunday Crash

Hanover,PA

A New Oxford High School student was killed and three other juveniles injured when the car they were riding in hit a tree Sunday morning in West Manheim Township. Kayla Miller 16, of Antique Lane in New Oxford, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 2:30 am crash on Musselman Road, according to York County Deputy Coroner Steve Cosey. The crash occured less than a minute after a West Manheim Township Police Officer had spotted the vehicle backed into a wooded area along Musselman Road, Police Chief Tim Hippensteel said. As the officer approached the car, it fled down the dirt road, he said.  The officer lost sight of the vehicle, then spotted it against the tree a short distance away, Hippensteel said. Because West Manheim officers had spotted the vehicle prior to the crash, Pennsylvania State Police in York are handling the investigation. Miller, a 10th-grader at New Oxford High School, was the front seat passenger in the vehicle.  An autopsy will be performed Tuesday at Lehigh Valley Medical Center. The driver of the Vehicle and One rear-seat passenger were transported to York Hospital by STAT Med-Evac and Life Lion helicopters, according to state police.  A second rear-seat passenger was transported by ambulance to Hanover Hospital. Police said the vehicle was traveling north-west on Musselman Road when it left the road and hit a tree on the passenger side-the side where Kayla was sitting. The other three occupants in the vehicle were juviniles, so police did not release their names.  And because police did not release their names, information on their conditions was not available. Authorities said none of the individuals were wearing seat belts. As of this morning, state police had not released any additional information about what may have caused the crash, Hippensteel said the crash was not weather related. A desk officer with state police said no one was available this morning to answer questions related to the crash. Kayla had transferred to New Oxford High School from the South Western School District at the end of last school year, said Dan Trimmer, superintendent of the Conewago Valley School District. "She was a quiet student," Trimmer said. He said Kayla's records do not show any discipline problems. Trimmer said counselors will be available to speak with students who knew Kayla, to help them deal with the loss.

Police continue to investigate fatal crash

Hanover,PA

A dusting of snow covered the tire tracks that veered off the stretch of dirt road, and frosted yellow roses in a basket of flowers tied to a tree. Attached to the basket Monday was a photo of 16-year-old Kayla Miller, who was killed there a day earlier when the Toyota Camry she was riding in hit two oak trees in the 500 block of Musselman Road. Miller was a front-seat passenger in the car and was pronounced dead at the scene of the 2:30am crash in West Manheim Township.  An autopsy will be performed today. Three other teens inside the car, all 17 and from Hanover, were injured, said Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Patrick Gebhart.  The male driver was listed in critical condition Monday afternoon at York Hospital, he said. In addition to the driver, the male rear-seat passenger was airlifted to York Hospital but has been released.  The female rear-seat passenger was treated for minor injuries at Hanover Hospital and was released later Sunday morning, Gebhart said. He declined to release the names of the other three passengers because they are juveniles. Gebhart said police are still investigating the crash, but speed appears to be a factor. Less than a minute before the crash, the car fled from a West Manheim Township Police Officer who spotted the car backed into a wooded area off the stretch of dirt road, Gebhart said. "From what I understand, none of the families were aware the children were out and about," he said. As soon as a cloud of dust cleared, the officer went to follow the vehicle and saw it had hit two trees after failing to negotiate a curve. Gebhart said no one was wearing a seat belt. "We can't stress that enough," he said. The car had been towed to the state police barracks in Loganville, where it is being examined further. Gebhart said troopers are consulting with the York County District Attorney's Office to determine if, or what, charges will be filed. Kayla was a 10th-grader at New Oxford High School, where she transferred at the end of last year. She had previously attended schools in the South Western School District, where she was enrolled since kindergarten, said South Western High School Principal Walt Graves. Graves said two of the other three teens involved in the crash are students at South Western; the other teen had attended the high school but withdrew. Kayla's death is the latest in a history of fatal crashes involving New Oxford students, said New Oxford High Principal Michael O'Brein. "We have been unfortunate and have had several in the last few years," O'Brien said.  "Even if it's only one child, it's one too many." Kayla's family could not be reached for comment. O'Brien said he always saw Kayla in the cafeteria at lunchtime. "She was very personable but a quiet kid, always said hello,"O'Brien said.  He said she was well-behaved. Kayla's MySpace.com profile says she loved to hang out with her friends and do daring things.  Several of her friends on her site have posted pictures of Kayla on their profiles, along with messages like "R.I.P. Kayla Lynn Miller" and "I will remember and love you forever.  I miss you."

Murder charge for teen

Hanover,PA

State police last week filed third-degree murder charges against a Hanover teen who allegedly was high on marijuana and fleeing police when his car crashed, killing a New Oxford High School student in January.  Police allege David A. Wharton, 18, of 62 Frock Drive, fled from a West Manheim Township police officer at about 2:30am Jan. 21.  When the officer turned on his emergency lights and began to approach Wharton's car parked on Musselman Road in the township. The car, a Toyota Camry, was perpendicular to the road, according to court documents.  When the office turned on his lights and approached it on foot, he said he saw movement inside and heard "Watch this," before the car sped away, going north on Musselman Road. Police pursued Wharton, who lost control of the car, sliding across the road and hitting two trees, according to court documents. Wharton's front-seat passenger, 10th-grader Kayla L. Miller, 16, of Antique Lane in New Oxford, was pronounced dead at the scene.  Miller died from multiple blunt-force tramas, likely caused by the impact of the trees to the car, according to court documents. Wharton's charges include third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle while under the influence, two counts of aggravated assult, accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed, fleeing or attempting to elude police, possession of paraphernalia and marijuana, driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, transportation of liquor and reckless driving.  Two other juveniles - a boy and a girl - were also in the car.  The boy suffered broken ribs and punctured lungs, according to court documents.  He was treated and released at York Hospital. The girls injuries were not listed in court documents.  She was treated and released at Hanover Hospital. Police said they found drug paraphernalia and a open bottle of rum in the car, and emergency medical service workers found a baggy of marijuana on Wharton, according to court documents. According to lab tests, Wharton had enough of the drug in his system to impair his judgement, police said. Police said Wharton only had a learner's permit, and therefore should not have been driving at the time of the crash.  Wharton and the boy had arranged for Miller and the girl to sneak out of the girl's residence and celebrate Wharton's 18th birthday, according to court documents. Police said Wharton drove the three juveniles around for a while before ending up on Musselman Road. Police said none of the occupants were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

Fatal crash defendant requests move to juvenile court

Hanover,PA

A Hanover man facing third-degree murder charges for a fatal crash that occurred two days before his 18th birthday is asking his case be moved to juvenile court. Pennsylvania State Police allege David Austin Wharton, now 19, was high on marijuana and fleeing police on Jan. 21, 2007, when he lost  control of his car on Musselman Road in West Manheim Township and hit two trees.  Wharton at the time of the crash had only a learner's permit. His front-seat passenger, Kayla L. Miller, died at the scene from multiple blunt-force trama, according to the York County Coroner's Office. Two other minors were treated and released at York Hospital. Wharton was charged as an adult with third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault while DUI, accidents involving death, possession of marijuana and numerous traffic violations including driving without a license. But his attorney, Jeffrey C. Marshall, argued Wednesday in York County Common Pleas Court that the charges could be successfully disposed of the juvenile court system. Judge Michael E. Bortner deferred ruling on the request. If the case is sent to juvenile court and Wharton is adjudicated delinquent, he could remain under the auspices of juvenile court until age 21. In his decertification petition to Bortner Marshall maintained. "The public interest requires that (Wharton) receive treatment and rehabilitative services, which are only available through the juvenile court system." Police allege the Toyota Camry in which Wharton fled had been parked on Musselman Road.  A West Manheim Police office came across the Camry, activated the emergency lights and approached the parked vehicle, according to court documents.  He said he saw movement inside and heard, "Watch this," before the car sped away, going north on Musselman Road, court documents state. Police pursued Wharton, who lost control of the car, sliding across the road and hitting two trees, according to court documents. It had snowed lightly, but police said at the time the crash was not weather related. Police said they found drug paraphernalia and a open bottle of rum in the car, and emergency-service workers found a baggy of marijuana on Wharton, according to court documents. According to lab tests, Wharton had enough of the drug in his system to impair his judgement, police said. Miller was a sophomore at New Oxford High School.

Appeal filed in wreck death

Hanover,PA

Prosecutors have appealed a judge's ruling to move a third-degree murder case against a Hanover man to juvenile court. The charges against David A. Wharton, 19, of 62 Frock Drive stem from a crash that killed 16-year-old Kayla Miller, ofNew Oxford, on Jan. 21, 2007. The crash happened two days before Wharton's 18th birthday and prosecutors charge Wharton, who allegedly was high on marijuana at the time, as an adult.  But Wharton petitioned for the case to be moved to juvenile court and York County Judge Michael Bortner granted the request on March 17.  The York County District Attorney's office has appealed the ruling. The crash occured after Wharton allegedly slid across Musselman Road and hit two trees as he fled from a West Manheim Township Police officer in the  early morning of Jan. 21. Miller, who was in the front seat, was pronounced dead at the scene.  She died from multiple blunt-force tramas to the head likely caused by the car's impact into the trees, according to court documents. Wharton was charged with third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle while under the influence, two counts of aggravated assult, accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed, fleeing or attempting to elude police, possession of paraphernalia and marijuana, driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, transportation of liquor and reckless driving. Two other juveniles-a boy and a girl- were also in the car.  The boy suffered broken ribs and punctured lungs, according to court documents. Police said they found drug paraphernalia, and an opened bottle of rum in the car.  Emergency personnel also found a baggy of marijuana on Wharton, according to court documents. York County Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Boyles said he immediately appealed the decision to the Superior Court. He said therewas no time table as to when the Superior Court would make a decision about the appeal.

Stoned driver found delinquent

Hanover,PA

Full story: The York Daily Record

Adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile Tuesday for a fatal Jan. 21, 2007, car crash, Dustin Austin Wharton will remain in the custody of the state's juvenile justice system until age 21.

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