The family of Maddie Shely, the teen facing a misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide charge in juvenile court, issued a statement Friday calling the crash an accident.
The case involves an October traffic accident at 180th and Highway 370. Maddie was driving a Jeep that collided with a pickup. The front seat passenger in her vehicle, 15-year-old Nate LaFave, was killed in the crash. The other passenger, 15-year-old Carly Anne Kelly was critically injured. Maddie was also critically injured.
The statement released by the Shely family on Friday reads as follows:
Up to this point we have chosen not to comment on the charges out of a desire for privacy and out of respect for the other families involved. We are choosing to make a statement at this time due to several misconceptions that have been fostered after Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov’s press release and most recently, his on-air appearance.
First, and most importantly, we are deeply touched by the support we have received. We are sincerely thankful. We firmly believe that Madeline and Carly survived this accident because of the power of prayer. We ask for continued prayer for all the families involved, including those of the other driver, Alan Hynes, but most importantly for the LaFave family for whom this most recent press coverage has been especially hurtful.
Secondly, we would like to address some of the misinformation that is being disseminated in media accounts, message boards, radio programs and public comments. After investigation by the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office, it is clear that Madeline did not engage in any reckless or negligent driving behaviors prior to the accident like texting, using her cell phone, speeding, or using alcohol or drugs. This was an instance of an inexperienced driver trying to negotiate an intersection near rush hour that the State of Nebraska has deemed dangerous and in need of additional precautions. Simply put, this was an accident. By all witness accounts, Madeline came to a complete stop at the stop sign in question at highway 370 and 180th Street. The Juvenile Court will have to determine if Madeline failed to yield the right of way after coming to this complete stop. We respect the court process and hope for its quick conclusion for the sake of all involved.
Scott and Tifany Shely
Father and Mother of Madeline Shely
Maddie Shely's arraignment is scheduled for January 6.