A candidate for office in Wyandotte County faces felony charges that left four teens hospitalized following a crash.
Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman charged Tamika Pledger on Sunday afternoon. Gorman charged Pledger with four counts of reckless aggravated battery.
Pledger was released from the Wyandotte County Jail on Monday after she posted bond, which was set at $50,000. She will face a judge next week.
Pledger is a candidate for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County Commissioner, 1st District at large position. She has been a community leader decrying violence in the community especially involving young people.
Pledger was driving in the 1300 block of Troup in KCK when she hit the four teens Friday afternoon. Witnesses told KCTV5 that she was quite distraught and pleaded for help.
Gorman said the charges relate to the injuries to the four teens who remain in the hospital. Gorman is not accusing Pledger of intentionally hitting the teens. Instead, he says she knew the potential for harm and ignored those risks.
"Reckless means that there's a realization of danger and that you've done something to ignore or disregard that danger," Gorman said. "There are a number of factors that lead to that danger. I don't think that there's any one thing that we can rely upon and some are still being developed so that will come out later."
Pledger faces 31 to 136 months in prison if convicted of the charges.
A fifth teen was injured but it's unclear whether the injuries occurred in Friday's crash or in the alleged fight that Pledger told witnesses that she was trying to stop. Some of those injured are related to Pledger.
Witnesses told KCTV5 Friday night that Pledger said her brakes failed.
Saturday night, her college-aged son, Ta'Juan Pledger, took to Facebook to share his thoughts. He said she was on her way to stop a fight at a Boys and Girls Club that involved her niece, and never intended to hurt anyone.
"My mother is a warm-hearted [sic] woman who stays involved in the community. She has helped so many out," he wrote. "My mother is an active activist in the community, and like any concerned family member would do she rushed to the scene. On the way to the scene, there was a hill that is impossible to see over. The kids were fighting near the top of the hill and were hit. If she had known what was on the other side [sic]. Nothing was intentional. Her only intent was to remove my cousin from the environment. At this time, I ask that you please keep everyone affected in your prayers and that you pray for my Mom thank you."
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