Contractor pleads guilty in death of doctor

News Story
- 17 Nov 2022 ( #1103 ) - Washington, DC, United States
1 min read
Captain Kelliann Leli
Captain Kelliann Leli

A former American military contractor pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for fatally striking an active duty US Air Force medical doctor with a forklift as she was walking on Al Dhafra Airbase in the United Arab Emirates.

According to court documents, on 27 November 2020, Ari Taylor, 32, of Roxboro, North Carolina, was operating a forklift to deliver pallets of water on Al Dhafra Airbase in his role as a civilian employed by a US military contractor. He drove the forklift through a space shared by vehicles and pedestrians, between a medical clinic and living quarters. Taylor acknowledged that pedestrians were frequently present in this area.

At the time of the fatal collision, Taylor was distracted while using his cell phone and never saw Captain Kelliann Leli. 

A crash reconstruction expert concluded that Taylor had almost nine seconds to prevent the crash, but Taylor admitted that he did not see Leli and failed to take any steps to avoid striking her with the forklift.

Taylor pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter. He is scheduled to be sentenced on 25 April 2023. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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