Man’s purchase of beer for teen leads to fatal accident

According to a St. Clair County district attorney, a 23-year-old man committed a felony when he provided beer to school age kids. One of those teens later died in a car accident as a result of that act.

Authorities say that a 17-year-old friend of the beer provider was intoxicated from that beer as he was traveling on Providence Road in St. Clair County, Alabama, in his Ford Mustang. Accompanying the teen in the vehicle was a 14-year-old girl in the passenger seat and a 16-year-old girl in the back. Police say sometime during the night of Oct. 29, 2012, the car left the roadway and struck a tree. The 16-year-old in the rear of the vehicle was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle as a result of the impact. She perished at the scene, yet the other two occupants escaped with only minor injuries.

The Ragland police chief and a St. Clair County investigator determined that alcohol and speed caused the accident, and they eventually tracked down and arrested the man who provided beer to the teen driver. He pleaded guilty to the charge of furnishing alcohol to a student and was sentenced to the maximum of three years in prison. The driver of the vehicle was charged as an adult with reckless murder charges in January 2013, but he has since been given the status of a youthful offender.

The victim of this tragic fatal accident was a cheerleader. Her parents most likely had lofty dreams of. Sadly, they will never know how things might have worked out for her because of her completely preventable death. Those parents should know that there are legal remedies available to them to help compensate them for their loss. Although no amount of money can replace their daughter, perhaps the victim's parents could use those funds to get counseling or perhaps help pay for the funeral expenses. They should not have to bear those costs; the loss of their daughter has damaged them enough already.

Source: al.com, "3 years in prison for man who bought beer linked to crash that killed high school cheerleader" Carol Robinson, Apr. 18, 2014

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