It’s the dreaded tragedy that parents and teachers warn their kids about around this time of year. With graduation come parties and celebration. And for some, a celebration isn’t a celebration with alcohol.
Last Monday, an 18-year-old athlete and student from a Pennsylvania high school graduated and reportedly had big plans for his future. He wanted to continue to play sports in college or maybe even join the Navy. All of his dreams, however, could not survive a car accident that took his life just when it likely felt it had begun.
According to reports, the 18-year-old beloved student athlete was riding as a passenger a few hours after his graduation when the car he was riding in went out of control. The driver, 21, was reportedly driving drunk and lost control of the vehicle.
The drunk driver survived the crash, but his friend did not. Due to the impact and because he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, the victim was thrown from the wrecked car and died shortly after the accident.
Even though the driver did not readily admit to investigators that he was driving the car, he ultimately did fess up to driving under the influence and causing the fatal crash. He reportedly tried to hide evidence related to the drunk driving charge before officials arrived but did so unsuccessfully.
The defendant, now in custody, faces the following criminal charges: homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, causing an accident involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed, drunk driving, tampering with physical evidence and various traffic violations.
Whether the family of the victim intends to file a civil suit against the driver is undisclosed at this point. When we learn more about this tragic but all too familiar case, we will post an update.
Go Erie.com: “Girard students mourn loss of popular classmate in fatal crash,” Tim Hahn, 9 Jun. 2011