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Mother enraged about 'soft' charges for driver who killed daughter | News

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Mother enraged about 'soft' charges for driver who killed daughter

BOWIE, Md. (WUSA9) -- The Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office is getting ready to charge the driver who hit and killed a two-year-old girl nearly one year ago.

But the family of the toddler is angry because the charges are misdemeanor traffic violations.

Dynesti Maraj was with her grandmother in the crosswalk at the intersection of Route 197 at Old Chapel Hill Road in Bowie. The traffic signal gave the pair permission to cross, but the driver of a van making a left turn didn't see them. 

Destiny Barnes now wears her hair pink, Dynesti's favorite color, as a daily reminder of the daughter she lost. 

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"It's hard to have something that you build your life upon to just be taken away so sudden, so sudden for someone not watching the road," Barnes said. 

"She had on a bright pink coat what could you possibly be doing that you didn't see her?"

Barnes remembers her last conversation with her daughter.

"She said 'mommy, you're my best friend.' I said 'you're my best friend.' I always told her 'I love you to infinity and back.' It's hard not to hear that anymore."

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The police report said the 56-year-old driver had items piled on top of his dashboard. It also says he failed to stop until people on the scene, including the Dynesti's father, ran after him.

Mom can't believe she's waited a year for justice, only for the driver to pay the consequences in misdemeanor traffic violations.

"He took my child. He took everything away from me and all he's going to get is a fine?"

The State's Attorney's office plans on filing five charges, two counts of failing to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, two counts of not exercising due care and negligent driving. They are all misdemeanor charges that carry fines ranging from $110 to $500 with no more than 60 days in jail for failing to stop. 

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