Driver pleads guilty to hitting, killing 7-year-old playing in back yard

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- The driver who struck and killed a 7-year-old child who was playing in his back yard has pleaded guilty in connection with the crash.

Kayla Bennett pleaded guilty to causing death when operating a motor vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance in the blood. She had THC in her system at the time of the crash.

The incident happened in the back yard of a duplex in the 800 block of W. 6th Street in Mishawaka on June 1, 2018.

Briyson Councell and his sister were playing in the back yard when Bennett pulled into the back yard to park and struck Briyson.

Briyson was taken to the hospital but died of his injuries.

Reports indicate Briyson's mother told Councell the day before the crash to park in front of the house because her children played in the back yard.

Bennett admitted to police to smoking marijuana the day before, but denied using marijuana that day, according to court records.

Blood tests sent to a lab showed active and inactive THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in Bennett's system at the time of the crash, court documents said.

Councell's family lived in one half of the duplex and Bennett lived in the other half, reports said.

Bennett will be sentenced on January 22.

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