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Update: Father arrested in 6-year-old daughter's death

2014-01-25 06:47:26
Update: 4:13 p.m.

A Monticello man has been arrested on a charge of manslaughter in the death of his 6-year-old daughter, who was run over by a truck Monday afternoon in his yard.

David Russell Courson, 38, was a passenger in the truck, which was driven by a 13-year-old girl, according to the Florida Highway Patrol

"Update: Father..." Developments of events

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Investigators say alcohol and drugs were involved and that Courson was the only adult present when his daughter, Rebecca Courson, was killed.

Rebecca was playing in the yard Monday afternoon when the 13-year-old girl, who is unrelated to Courson, started to move the truck to a different part of the property located at 2537 St. Augustine Road in Jefferson County. Courson and an 8-year-old boy were also inside truck, which was Courson's.

But instead of moving forward, the girl put the car in reverse, backing over Rebecca with the truck’s rear tires. She then pulled forward and parked the truck.

When the three got out, they found that the girl had been hit, according to Sgt. Aaron Stephens, FHP spokesman. Rebecca’s mother, and Courson’s wife, was at work at the time.

Rebecca Courson was taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare where she later died.

Stephens says drugs and alcohol were involved in the fatal incident.

Troopers could smell alcohol on the breath of both the 13-year-old behind the wheel and a 12-year-old girl who was not in the car, Stephens said. Courson had also been drinking and a bag of marijuana was also found inside the truck.

Stephens wasn’t sure whether Courson had given the girls alcohol or whether the marijuana was his.

The investigation is still ongoing and FHP is trying to clear up the reasons why a 13-year-old was driving a car under the influence of alcohol with an adult nearby.

“We’re still trying to piece that part together,” Stephens said. “No good reason, other than lack of responsibility of the one adult that was there at the house.”

The 13-year-old girl behind the wheel could still face charges, said Stephens. Courson, who has three children, was booked into the Jefferson County Jail. He is listed as unemployed.

An autopsy will not be available for another 60 to 90 days.

Original Story:

A 6-year-old was backed over and killed by a truck Monday evening in Monticello.

A 13-year-old was driving a 2011 Nissan Frontier in reverse while the 6-year-old was behind the truck. The rear wheels ran over the child, who was taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare where he or she was pronounced dead, according to Florida Highway Patrol.

The entire incident occurred around 5:30 p.m. on private property in the 2500 block of St. Augustine Road.

A 38-year-old man, David Russell Courson, of Monticello, and an 8-year-old were both in the truck at the time.

The names of all minors, including the 6-year-old, were not released by FHP. The situation is under investigation.

tallahassee.com
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