Finding Civil Justice in Criminal Injustice: Ariel Young

Posted: April 17, 2021

On February 4, 2021, at approximately 9 pm, Ariel Young, a 5-year-old Kansas City girl, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, skull fracture, brain contusions, and subdural hematomas.  Ariel came out of her coma after 11 days and was released from the hospital on April 2.  Sadly, she cannot walk and is on a feeding tube.

Ariel was with her aunt as they were helping a family member who had run out of gas near Arrowhead Stadium, when her car was bulldozed by another car driven by a man who had just left work, was driving 83.9 mph in a 65 mph, and had a BAC of .113 (over the legal limit of .08).  The drunk driver was previously convicted of DUI after driving into a shopping cart in a parking lot, and in another incident did jail time for a road rage incident with a gun.

The drunk driver?  Britt Reid, a Kansas City Chief Linebackers Coach, and son of Head Coach, Andy Reid.  Reid walks free on bond, charged with a felony level DUI, and faces a maximum penalty of only 1 – 7 years in prison.  The Jackson County, Mo. prosecutor said that due to changes in the law in 2017, this is the highest (and only) charge available for this repeat offender who could have saved Ariel her pain by taking advantage of the NFL’s partnership with rideshare companies such as Lyft and Uber.

Meanwhile, Ariel, cannot walk, cannot talk, and faces a life sentence of medical challenges.

Tragically, in cases like Ariel’s, there is no sentence that a judge can impose that can help a 5-year old’s brain heal, make her legs work again, or prepare her for a lifetime spent in appointments at her doctor, physical therapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor, and more.  Pain and suffering is more than the life-changing collision, or the weeks of recovery in the hospital, but it is a full-time job to rehabilitate and recover.  Although the criminal courts may not stop this man from hurting victims, civil justice is necessary to allow his victims all the resources necessary to rebuild, or in Ariel’s case, to recreate a meaningful life.

To get started with that process, Ariel’s family has set up a GoFundMe page. To donate, please go here:

Fundraiser for Felicia Miller by Tiffany Verhulst : Ariel(5yrs) critically hurt in suspected DUI crash (gofundme.com)

 

-Matthew Durkin, attorney