A Tug Valley High School teacher is facing child endangerment and other charges after she allegedly provided alcohol to two underage males who later were involved in a crash while using her car.
According to MCSD Chief Field Deputy Joe Smith, on the morning of Jan. 16, he and Dep. Jeremy Casey responded to a single-vehicle wreck on U.S. 52 near Naugatuck.
Smith said the investigation ultimately revealed that the two juvenile males involved in the wreck were Tug Valley High School students and that the car they had been operating was owned by TVHS teacher Kandace F. Dick, 31, of Freeburn, Kentucky.
Smith said that, aside from providing the students with her car, while still in capacity as a teacher at the school, Dick allegedly had also provided them with alcohol just a short time prior to allowing them use of the vehicle.
Smith said the juveniles were 17 and 15 years of age.
“After sharing the drinks with the two students, she then turned over her car keys to allow them to drive to a nearby gas station to purchase food for themselves,” Smith stated in the criminal complaint. “When the students decided to switch drivers, the youngest juvenile lost control and wrecked the vehicle, causing bodily harm to both students.”
Smith said the students were transported to a local hospital and treated for injuries suffered in the crash and that Dick was arrested later in the day.
In a statement released shortly after Dick’s arrest, Superintendent Don Spence said the Mingo County Board of Education is committed to the safety and security of the students, that the “matter is currently under a thorough investigation,” and that both (TVHS) “school administration and the district are working in partnership with all appropriate agencies.”
Dick was arraigned by Magistrate Jim Harvey and formally charged with two counts of gross neglect of a child creating substantial risk of death or serious injury and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a child by a person 18 years of age or older.