No doubt many a 1963-67 Corvette coupe’s storage area behind the seats was used to haul kids around back in the day, without incident.
But these are different times.
A Hanover, Pennsylvania mom found that out Thursday in court.
You may remember 29-year-old Jessica Reger, who was arrested back on July 10 for letting her two children, then 3 and 5 years old, ride in the rear compartment of a 2002 Corvette.
Well, Reger pleaded guilty Thursday to endangering the welfare of children, and Common Pleas Judge Christy H. Fawcett handed down a sentence of six to 23 months in York County Prison.
Reger’s only defense seemed to center on the definition of a “trunk” in a Corvette, which as we all know only a Z06 and a convertible have a traditional trunk. The car in question, though, apparently is a coupe, which has a large storage area behind the seats that is open to the rest of the car.
“Corvettes don’t have trunks. Corvettes have wells in the back,” said Korey Leslie, an attorney who represented Reger. “The trunk issue has always been a sticking point for us.”
Reger, asked to explain what happened, told Judge Fawcett that she had been riding as a passenger in the Corvette and allowed her children to climb into the storage area of the car, which she described as “like a well, an open space.”
It’s obvious that the prosecutors and police don’t seem to have a clear idea of what a Corvette looks like on the inside. No matter, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sarah Buhite said it didn’t really make a difference because Reger was ultimately not following the law, which requires children to be in car seats restrained by seatbelts. Since there were already two adults in the two-seater sports car, it was physically impossible for Reger to abide by that law.
“There are laws,” Buhite pointed out, “and they’re supposed to be followed.”
Fortunately, the Corvette wasn’t involved in a crash while the children were in the back, but had it been, it’s very possible the kids could have been thrown from the vehicle.
Reger’s sentence also included taking parenting classes, which she has already completed. She was also found in violation of her probation and sentenced to serve nine to 23 months, which will run concurrently with the other term.
Earlier, the actual driver of the Corvette – 28-year-old Ilena Blackburn – pleaded guilty on Oct. 14 to recklessly endangering another person and to using an improper child restraint system and was handed a sentence of 1½ years on probation, 50 hours of community service, and a $75 fine.
The moral of this story? If you have to take your kids somewhere, use your Suburban or minivan. Don’t cram them into your Corvette just because it has so much storage capacity behind the seats. It’s not being mean, it’s just potentially saving the life of your child.
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