Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / Law / Crime and Punishment / Two charged in death of Erie County child hit by car

Two charged in death of Erie County child hit by car

BUFFALO — Two Buffalo residents face charges in the death of an 8-year-old boy who was hit and killed by their car in April.

The Erie County District Attorney’s office says that an unlicensed driver was behind the wheel when Tumaini Philbert was struck crossing a city street, and that her passenger then took control of the vehicle and backed up over him, killing him.

The passenger, 20-year-old Lavon Turrentine, is charged with manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter. The 19-year-old driver, Brianna Hightower, is charged with misdemeanor reckless driving. Both pleaded not guilty Monday in state Supreme Court in Buffalo.

Turrentine’s lawyer, Daniel Grasso, says Turrentine was trying to help the child, not hurt him, when he moved the car.