Arcanum driver accused of hitting student was warned before

ARCANUM, Ohio (WDTN) – 2 NEWS Investigates has new information about the driver charged with hitting a student in a crosswalk.

Billie Skeens, 24, is charged with reckless operation, driving under suspension and failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

2 NEWS Investigates uncovered a report that shows that the driver was warned before.

The report shows Skeens was pulled over in November in the same school zone where police say she hit Cailynn Stephens, 13, in December.

That first time, the officer gave Skeens a verbal warning for “excessive speed”, but Cailynn’s mother told me Tuesday that is one more sign Skeens should not be on the road.

It’s been a little over two months since Cailynn Stephens was hit in a crosswalk on her way to Arcanum-Butler school, but her mother Sarah remembers it like yesterday.

“You will never know what it was like chasing after a helicopter with my daughter loaded in it,” said Sarah Stephens.

Cailynn’s temporal lobe was damaged and she still is recovering.

“She has a constant ringing in her right ear.”

The driver accused of hitting Cailynn, Billie Skeens, shouldn’t have been behind the wheel that morning.  She had a suspended driver’s license and was outside the bounds of her work driving privileges.

That’s the part of the situation that has Cailynn’s mother extremely frustrated.

“I just want it to be over.  She should be rightly sentenced to jail time for what she did,” said Sarah.

It’s not just the suspended driving that has Sarah upset.  According to an Arcanum police report 2 NEWS Investigates obtained Tuesday, and confirmed with the Darke County Prosecutors Office, an Arcanum officer reported that he pulled over Skeen in the same school zone nearly a month before this incident for “excessive speed”.  She got a verbal warning.

A couple weeks after that accident, 2 NEWS Investigates told you Skeens had a record of traffic violations including other driving under suspension charges, the most recent just six days before she’s accused of hitting Cailynn.  She received a reduced sentence and a fine.

“I don’t know how someone continuously is allowed to be let go, be let go, be let go,” said Sarah, “When and where do we hold that individual accountable?”

Skeens was charged with three misdemeanors for hitting Cailynn.

Sarah said that is not enough for repeat traffic offenders who take risks around kids.

“I no longer have the peace of mind and you worry about whether or not she is going to make it back, everywhere she goes I take her to, I don’t.  She doesn’t walk anywhere anymore.”

Darke County Assistant Prosecutor Jesse Green says Skeens agreed to change her plea to guilty.

A judge is expected to set a date to make that official.

We called Skeen’s attorney, but he refused to comment.

 

 

blog comments powered by Disqus