October 20, 2020

Pa. driver with suspended license admits hitting bicycle-pulled carrier that critically injured infant

LEWISBURG – The driver of a SUV that struck a then 11-month-old girl in a carrier being pulled by her mother’s bicycle has pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated assault by vehicle.

Tyler Bean–Dowell, 30, of Millmont, entered the plea Tuesday in Union County court.

There is an agreement other charges are to be dismissed but not on the sentence that is scheduled to be imposed in December. Sentencing guidelines call for jail time.

Bean-Dowell admitted he was the driver of the SUV that on April 21 struck the carrier in which the infant was riding. It was being pulled by a bicycle ridden by her mother, Abigail Martin of Lewisburg.

The infant, Megan, who was injured critically, has recovered, District Attorney D. Peter Johnson said.

Bean-Dowell had been charged with two counts of aggravated assault by vehicle with Martin being the other victim.

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The belief a judge would unlikely impose a consecutive sentence if Bean-Dowell was found guilty in a trial of both was a factor in agreeing to accept the plea, Johnson said.

Martin, who also was injured but not as seriously as her daughter, approved this resolution to the case, he said.

Bean-Dowell, who did not stop at the accident on Red Ridge Road outside Mifflinburg, was arrested later in the day and initially denied striking carrier.

Parts of a passenger-side mirror and other items found at the accident scene matched those of the Ford Explorer that Bean-Dowell was driving, police said.

Besides the second count of aggravated assault by vehicle charges that are to be dismissed include accidents involving personal injury, accidents involving injury while not licensed, driving with a suspended license and several Vehicle Code violations.

Bean-Dowell remains free on $100,000 bail.

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