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Downtown St. Louis crash that killed teen in pickup bed leads to manslaughter charge

Downtown St. Louis crash that killed teen in pickup bed leads to manslaughter charge

Sierra Rubymae Ward-Micke

Sierra Rubymae Ward-Micke, 17, died in a vehicle crash in downtown St. Louis on Aug. 17, 2020.

ST. LOUIS — A driver involved in a late-night downtown crash that killed a 17-year-old girl in August 2020 was charged Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter. 

La'Javion D. Ramsey, 26, of East St. Louis, is accused of driving 20 miles over the speed limit before crashing into a pickup about 2:30 a.m. Aug. 17, 2020. 

Sierra Rubymae Ward-Micke, 17, of De Soto, was riding in the bed of the truck and was thrown from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene, St. Louis police said at the time. 

Ramsey was not in police custody when the charge was issued. He also has a federal warrant for his arrest connected to a 2019 weapons charge, according to court documents. 

Ramsey was driving a 2014 Dodge Charger that collided with the pickup near the intersection of 10th Street and Washington Avenue, about a block from America's Center Convention Complex.

The crash was one in a series of incidents that brought attention to late-night recklessness and speeding in downtown that summer, leading to a plan by former Mayor Lyda Krewson to set up street barricades to decrease racing

Parents of Sierra, the De Soto teen who died in the collision, told the Post-Dispatch last year that they thought their daughter had met friends for a sleepover in St. Charles that night, but later realized she was riding around in downtown St. Louis. 

She would have been a senior at De Soto High School the fall after her death and had talked about joining the National Guard after graduation, her stepfather said in 2020. 

Ramsey was sued in federal court by Esurance Insurance Services in connection with the crash in December. 

The insurance company claimed in the suit that Ramsey attempted to get an auto insurance policy 14 hours after the fatal crash and later attempted to make a claim for coverage. 

The suit states that Ramsey claimed he became panicked when he saw a large group of people on Washington Avenue that night and thought he saw someone holding a gun.

Court documents do not list a lawyer for Ramsey to speak on his behalf. 

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