Charges filed in death of 3-year-old bicyclist

Published 10:17 am Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Berrien County Prosecutor’s office announced Tuesday it had officially charged a Dowagiac woman accused of killing a toddler in traffic accident in June, according to release from the county.

Teri Abiney, 52, was arraigned Tuesday in Berrien County Court, where she was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death. The offense is a felony punishable with a maximum of 15 years in prison.

The accident occurred around 9:45 p.m. on June 3, near the intersection of Council Drive and Crytal Court outside Benton Harbor. Police say that Abiney, who was driving a 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 van, struck the victim, 3-year-old Taeyon Richard, who was riding his bike near his residence at the Berrien Homes complex.

Following the collision, Richard was taken to Lakeland Hospital, where he soon after died from his injuries.

Authorities believe that Abiney had cocaine in her system at the time of the crash.

The crash was investigated by officers with the Benton Township Police Department, who were assisted by the Michigan State Police and Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.

Abiney’s bond was set at $10,000 cash or surety.