Child abuse charges authorized for mom in crash that killed toddler

Dasani Colbert has just turned a year old when she died in a minivan crash. Unrestrained in the vehicle, she was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. (WWMT)

Felony charges were issued today against the mother of a toddler who died when a minivan with no child safety seats crashed on the city’s north side.

Kalamazoo police said Minion Clopton had three children in the car with her that day, all under the age of 3, but she had no car seats for them.

Kalamazoo District Court Judge Richard Santoni authorized the charges against Clopton, and other charges against the driver of the second vehicle in the crash, Shaniqua Defrance.

The arrest warrants against Clopton outlined two counts of third-degree child abuse, a felony charge that carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. Clopton also was charged with a single count of fourth-degree child abuse, a misdemeanor, in regard to the daughter who was not seriously injured in the crash.

The child who died, 1-year-old Dasani Colbert, was ejected from the minivan during the crash, and died at the scene. The crash occurred just days after she and her twin sister celebrated their first birthday. The oldest child in the car, nearly 2, also was ejected and suffered serious injuries.

Driving west on North Street, Clopton’s minivan was hit by a car heading down Rose Street. Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Detective Jason Gates said the driver of the car that hit the minivan was at fault. That driver, Defrance, also faces criminal charges.

Defrance has been charged with one count of driving without a license causing death, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. She also was charged with one count of driving without a license causing serious injury, with a five-year penalty; and two misdemeanors for driving infractions causing death and serious injury.

Kalamazoo police said Clopton has been cooperative in the investigation, but Defrance has not.

Read more:

Kalamazoo community holds vigil for 1-year-old car crash victim

Police identify 1-year-old girl who died in Kalamazoo crash

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