Underage driver faces murder charge after Philadelphia crash

Most kids are in a hurry to drive. Do you remember when you were a teenager, anxiously awaiting your sixteenth birthday? Then, you would be officially eligible to earn your driver’s license. It’s a symbol of growing up, a symbol of freedom.

When a car winds up in the hands of someone younger, someone who is untrained to drive and irresponsible, a mere drive across the block can quickly become tragedy. A recent Philadelphia car accident would have been avoided if a 14-year-old boy hadn’t gotten behind the wheel of his mother’s car.

According to local news reports, on Jun. 30, the teen and his friends decided to take his mom’s car for a spin after she fell asleep. That one decision affected many lives and the future of the young man who decided to drive too soon.

Sources report that around 2 a.m., the boy was spotted by authorities driving at about 85 mph with the car’s headlights shut off. It was the ultimate recipe for disaster, and disaster took the shape of a serious car accident. The boy wound up driving into the oncoming lane and crashed into another car. One of the passengers in that car was killed; others in both cars were injured.

The teen driver is being tried as an adult and charged with third-degree murder. The trial began last week, with an injured passenger testifying on the stand. The defense attorney in this case argues that the young defendant’s actions don’t measure up to the criminal charge pending against him. He also wants the teen to be treated as a juvenile, not an adult.

Our Philadelphia source does not indicate whether any of the victims or victims’ families involved are pursuing civil charges as a result of the wreck. We will post an update when there are new developments in the case.


Philadelphia Inquirer: “Driver, 14, faces trial in crash that killed Bensalem man,” Joseph A. Slobodzian, 21 Jul. 2011

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