Alcohol May Have Been A Factor In 12-year-old's Death
Published: July 10th, 2007
By: Tyler Murphy

OTSELIC – Alcohol may have been a factor in the death of a local 12-year-old girl over the weekend, police investigators say.

George Ford Jr., 42, of Piscataway, N.J., was charged Sunday with first-degree felony reckless endangerment after he allegedly ran over 12-year-old Shyanne A. Somers with his 2000 Ford F-350 pick-up.

Ford and his wife, Cindy, were at a graduation party in the area Saturday. While the couple attended the party, Somers, a neighbor, was asked to baby-sit Ford’s children for the night, according to police. The Chenango County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police are continuing the investigation and are waiting for the results from a toxicology report on Ford’s condition at the time of the incident. Police say that the evidence collected thus far points to the girl’s death as being accidental, and that there were no immediate signs of sexual assault.

Ford, who remains at the Chenango County Correctional Facility in Norwich in lieu of $100,000 bail, is set to appear in the Town of Otselic Court tonight for a felony hearing.

An autopsy performed Sunday at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton revealed the Otselic Valley seventh grader died of severe head trauma and massive internal injuries, said Lt. James E. Lloyd of the Sheriff’s Office. “What was indicated to us by the examiner is that her injuries were so severe, that even if this had happened just outside the hospital, it would’ve been very difficult to save her,” said Lloyd.

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