The family of Ariel Young, the 5-year-old who was hospitalized with brain injuries after a car crash in February that involved former Kansas City Chiefs coach Britt Reid, isn’t happy with the charges that were finally brought against him on Monday.
Prosecutors announced Monday that Reid has been charged with a felony count of driving while intoxicated for his involvement in the Feb. 4 crash. He is facing up to seven years in prison if convicted.
“We don’t believe the charges are fair or harsh enough,” Young’s cousin, Tiffany Verhulst told USA Today. “It’s been incredibly hard knowing he’s out every day living his normal life and Ariel’s life is completely changed.
“Our whole family’s life changed due to him making the decision to drink and drive.”
Investigators: Reid was driving nearly 84 mph at crash
Reid struck two stationary cars on the side of an interstate shortly after 9 p.m. on Feb. 4, just days before the Chiefs were due to compete in Super Bowl LV.
Investigators said that Reid — the team’s linebacker’s coach and son of head coach Andy Reid — was driving nearly 84 miles per hour just seconds before the crash in a 65 mph zone. Reid reportedly impacted the first car, and then steered right into the second car while driving nearly 68 MPH.
Reid told police that night that he had just left work. Prosecutors alleged Monday that he was drinking alcohol before the crash, and that he "acted with criminal negligence by driving at an excessive rate of speed, failing to be aware of a disabled vehicle, striking it and causing physical injury to a child in that vehicle."
They said he admitted to having 2-3 drinks and a prescription alcohol that night, and medical records revealed he had a blood alcohol concentration of .113 nearly two hours after the crash.
Reid, who turns 36 this month, was placed on leave and then did not get his contract renewed with the team.
Young was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and “suffered severe traumatic brain injury, a parietal fracture, brain contusions and subdural hematomas.” She was in a coma for over a week, and was released from the hospital on April 2.
Young’s family attorney Tom Porto said Monday that the DWI charge Reid is facing is “absolutely appropriate under the circumstances,” per USA Today. Her recovery, however, is far from over. She still can’t walk or talk, and is being fed through a feeding tube.
“The hope is that being in a familiar setting will trigger parts of her brain that have not woken up yet,” Porto told the Kansas City Star.
“Undoubtedly, her recovery process will continue for a long time, if not indefinitely. It’s heartbreaking and we are not sure what the future holds.”