Police: Woman had 8 children in passenger compartment of truck

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LATROBE, Pa. - Police cited a Latrobe woman Saturday after officers found eight children in the passenger compartment of the truck she was driving.

According to Southwest Regional Police Chief John Hartman, 34-year-old Dawn Meek was pulled over around 7:30 p.m. Saturday for speeding with two people in the bed of her truck.

As the officer approached Meek’s vehicle, he noticed a total of eight children, ages ranging from 7 months to 10 years, in the passenger compartment of the truck, Hartman said.

Meek claims there were only six children in the truck, and she wasn’t driving far.

“Why would you do that? I don't know that there is any excuse that would be acceptable,” Hartman said.

According to Hartman, none of the children were properly seat-belted or in approved child passenger restraint systems. The 7-month-old was in a carrier in the center console, police said.

“She was strapped in. She was in a car seat. It wasn't like she wasn't in a car seat. I wasn’t driving holding a 7-month-old baby,” said Meek.

She was also cited for not having a 3-year-old in a car seat.

Meek said, “She should have been in a booster. That's my fault, and I'll pay for that.”

Meek, who was driving on a suspended driver’s license, was cited for driving while operating privileges are suspended or revoked, passengers in open trucks and restraint systems, Hartman said.