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Charges levied in injured toddler case



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, January 29, 2018

A Keene man is slated to face trial in March for his role in an incident where his 3-year-old daughter was run over in Jaffrey by the family vehicle back in August.

Christopher Williams, 37, has been charged by state police with violation and misdemeanor A level charges of displaying a false inspection/registration sticker. His trial is currently scheduled for March 28, according to court documents. 

State police confirmed the charges Monday afternoon but would not answer more detailed questions about the case. A Jaffrey police affidavit dated Oct. 2 says Williams admitted to police that he installed the vehicle’s inspection sticker, which reportedly showed signs of wear and tear and did not look new. 

Williams’ daughter was run over on Aug. 6 after the parking gear of the family’s 1999 Ford Explorer disengaged while parked on Carey Road in Jaffrey. The vehicle rolled downhill and over the toddler, breaking her femur.

During an inspection of the vehicle after the incident, police noted that there were a number of issues with the vehicle, including “missing vehicle components, exposed wiring on the interior, rusted out parts on the exterior and a crack along the windshield,” according to the affidavit. 

The girl’s mother, Heather Williams, 34, of Keene, was previously charged with vehicular assault for her role in the incident. 

Police say Chris and Heather admitted that they knew of the issue with the parking mechanism, with Heather saying she developed a routine to determine if the parking gear was going to engage. 

Heather admitted and reconfirmed to police that the vehicle had rolled out of park in the past, according to the affidavit. Williams’ routine reportedly involved her rocking side to side in the driver’s seat of the car after releasing the brake to see if the parking brake would disengage. 

Heather has pleaded not guilty and will face trial on March 13. 

Assistant Cheshire County Attorney John Webb said Monday afternoon that a potential case against Swanzey Truck and Auto – where Williams was employed at the time of the incident – is under review. Webb said it is rare for a business to get charged. 

Police found a work order from Swanzey Truck and Auto dated July 18, 2017 during an inventory of the vehicle which detailed that the faulty shifting mechanism had been replaced, according to the affidavit. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.