Homicide charge to be dropped in crash that killed 5 year old girl

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The charge of criminally negligent homicide against 19 year-old Tamarah Johnson in the death of her 5 year old daughter after a summer car crash on Route 12 will now be dropped.

Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara said that a second report shows that Johnson was not driving at speeds in the mid 70s as originally thought. McNamara said that instead, the accident reconstruction shows Tamarah Johnson was driving "around the speed limit" at the time of the crash on Route 12 that killed her five year old daughter Makiah on August 22, 2009.

McNamara said Johnson will be in court in the next few days so that the charge can officially be dropped. However, McNamara said other charges will remain, including charges of endangering the welfare of a child, driving without a license and having a child in the vehicle without a restraint.

It was August 22, 2009 that police say Tamarah, who they claim wasn't even a licensed driver and had only possessed a learner permit for a few days, was traveling on the Route 790 off-ramp of Route 12 when the van she was driving slammed into the guard rail.

Officials said her daughter, Makiah, who was unrestrained, flew through a back window that shattered upon impact, and hit a navigation beacon. She was dead before she hit the waters of the barge canal. Investigators said an autopsy indicated the child was not in a car seat, as a child her age is required to be, by law.

Tamarah's mother, Deanna Johnson, is also facing charges for letting her daughter drive the car without a license.

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