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Wesley Chapel teen charged with vehicular homicide

WESLEY CHAPEL — One Wednesday in August 2007, a red Isuzu Trooper with three Wesley Chapel High School seniors inside rolled over on Curley Road, killing a 17-year-old male passenger who dug the New York Yankees and wanted to become a rocket scientist.

Eight months after Matthew Laidley died, the driver of the red Isuzu has been charged with vehicular homicide and manslaughter.

A warrant was issued Monday for 18-year-old Adam Sanford. He spent five hours at the Land O'Lakes jail on Wednesday before being released on $20,000 bail.

Sanford could not be reached Thursday.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Sanford was speeding when he used a turn lane and then the shoulder to pass other cars on the road that August day. When he attempted to get back on the pavement, Sanford lost control and the Trooper rolled over, possibly numerous times, according to the patrol.

It was a little after 2 p.m., and school had just gotten out. Some Wesley Chapel High students saw the accident happen.

Laidley died two hours later. Passenger Katelin Kaiser, then 17, and Sanford were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa with serious injuries.

Kaiser was interviewed in March by the FHP as they continued their investigation, which began shortly after the accident.

"She's still shaken up," said Highway Patrol Sgt. Heather Glenny.

Laidley's parents could not be reached Thursday. They live less than a mile from Sanford in the Meadow Pointe subdivision, according to the Pasco County Property Appraiser's Web site.

Maria Laidley, Matthew's mom, told the Times in August that the family moved here seven years ago from Westchester County, N.Y. She often talked to her son about the dangers of driving because she considered the streets around their new home to be particularly dangerous.

"I hated living here because of the horrible, horrible roads," she said the day after her son died.

"I was so afraid of this place, it ate him alive."

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (352) 521-6518.

Wesley Chapel teen charged with vehicular homicide 04/24/08 [Last modified: Sunday, April 27, 2008 11:59am]
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