homepage logo

State Attorney’s Office files charges in hit-and-run

By Staff | Jun 18, 2019

The State Attorney’s Office has filed charges against the man police say was driving the pickup truck that struck and killed an 8-year-old child waiting for her school bus in March.

Logan Hetherington, 19, of 537 S.E. 35th St., has been formally charged with one count of each of the following in the March 25 death of Layla Aiken:

Leaving the scene of a crash -death, first degree felony

Vehicular homicide, second degree felony

Possession of marijuana, first degree misdemeanor

Possession of paraphernalia, first degree misdemeanor

A release from the State Attorney’s Office stated that Assistant State Attorney Kelly Worcester of the Homicide Unit is handling the case.

Documents filed by the State Attorney’s Office state that Hetherington “was the driver of a motor vehicle involved in a crash resulting in death to a human being, and did in face cause death and Defendant knew a crash occurred, but failed to stop or remain at the scene of the crash, or as close thereto as possible,until he gave personal information and rendered aid as required by Florida Statues.” The state alleges that he operated his vehicle “in a reckless manner likely to cause death or great body harm to another.”

The four changes Hetherington faces are the same filed by the Cape Coral Police Department in his arrest.

Police say Hetherington was driving a red 2012 Dodge Ram pick-up truck south on Northeast 3rd Avenue shortly after 6 a.m. the day of the crash. When he reportedly approached the intersection of Northeast 19th Terrace, he took a sharp left turn, cutting across the northeast corner of the intersection, outside of the lane of travel and entered the westbound lane traveling eastbound.

As he made his way across the northeast corner of the intersection, his left side tires left the roadway and traveled onto the grass, into the dirt shoulder, striking Layla, who had her back to traffic, CCPD Chief David Newlan said at the May 23 press conference announcing Hetherington’s arrest..

CCPD reported that the street light on the northeast corner where Layla was hit was on and the illumination was such that the child “would have been visible to an alert and careful driver.”

According to police, her brothers, one standing near Layla in the grass, the other walking around the roadway on Northeast 3rd Ave, also should have been visible.

Hetherington continued down the street, failing to stop, Newlan said his department’s investigation shows.

Investigative techniques Newlan said were utilized before a warrant request was filed with the State Attorney’s Office included DNA testing, search warrants on electronic devices, witness interviews and surveillance footage review.

“Several video surveillance cameras assisted with the investigation,” Newlan said.

CCPD spokesperson Lt. Allan Kolak said during the press conference announcing Hetherington’s arrest that 2.7 grams of cannabis, a scale and a grinder was found in Hetherington truck when it was impounded. Police could not say whether Hetherington was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the incident, he added.

Kolak also said that surveillance from near-by residential houses played a large role in establishing the case to charge Hetherington.

Kolak said that Hetherington checked the front of his vehicle after arriving at ABC Supply Co. Inc, his place of employment, which was where Hetherington was reportedly headed that morning.

When interviewed by CCPD detectives, Hetherington admitted that he was the driver of his red Dodge pickup truck that morning and was on his way to work, traveling the route determined by investigators, according to the police report. Hetherington told police that he did examine his vehicle with a light “to ensure he had not driven onto a piece of wood or a nail in the grass near the business.

Hetherington denied that he knew he struck anyone or anything, the report states.

Hetherington told investigators that his lawyer told him not to speak with police because they would “twist his words,” when he was asked why he did not contact police after learning through news media that there had been a crash along the route he took to work.

Hetherington posted his $133,000 bail less than 24 hours after he was booked. His next scheduled court date is June 24.

Hetherington’s attorney, Lee Viacava, could not be immediately reached for comment.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj