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Prosecutor: Father drove drunk in fatal go-kart crash

Autumn Young

A 29-year-old Detroit man was arraigned on drunken driving and child abuse charges in a go-kart crash that killed his 4-year-old daughter and injured another daughter, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said Thursday.

Ollante Young was driving with the two girls about 2:50 a.m. Wednesday when his go-kart crashed into a parked car on the 19800 block of St. Marys, Wayne County prosecutors said. 

The recovered go-kart "had one seat and was not equipped with headlights or seat belts," prosecutors said.

They allege that Young was driving drunk at the time of the crash. He is charged with operating while intoxicated, causing death, two counts of second-degree child abuse, and two counts of operating while intoxicated with an occupant under age 16.

The crash killed Autumn Young. Her 5-year-old sister was wounded but her injuries were not life-threatening. "She’s in good spirits," said Cleo Strickland, Autumn's grandmother.

While recovering and coping with Autumn's death, the 5-year-old continually asks about Young, who is not her biological father but the "only one she knows," Strickland said. "She misses him dearly."

Young was arraigned Thursday before 36th District Court Magistrate Jeffrey Kleparek. Bond was set at $100,000.

A probable-cause conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 6. A preliminary examination is planned for Sept. 11, according to prosecutors. Both hearings are before Judge Deborah Lewis Langston in 36th District Court.   

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been started to raise money for Autumn's funeral.

They describe her as a lively tot who loved riding bikes.

"She was a very loving child, a real smart young lady for her age," said her grandfather, Malcolm Strickland.

"It's so hard for me," her grandmother said. "We’re going to miss her so much."

They are reeling from the loss while grappling with Young's actions

"It was a very bad decision on his part that caused it all. We all know that. But we also know the type of person he is and the type of dad he is," Cleo Strickland said. "I understand that the law has to do its duty. I just wish that it couldn’t be as harsh."

Her husband added: "This was an accident. It was a bad decision but it was an accident.  It’s bad for him to lose a child and then be charged."