A Florida family lost their teenage son to an alcohol-induced car crash earlier this summer. The family had just returned from vacationing in the Florida Keys to their home in Mandarin. It was a Saturday night, and their youngest son, a 14 year old, snuck out of the house to meet up with friends. He was going to enter high school this year, and the other teenagers he went out with would have been his older classmates.
One of them, a 17-year-old family friend, was driving the boy and a carload of other teenagers at about 4 a.m. when he ran off Mandarin Road at an unexpected curve and crashed the BMW into a tree. The driver was seriously injured, another male passenger sustained life-threatening injuries and the 14-year-old boy was killed. The only passenger to remain relatively unharmed was the female front passenger, who was the only occupant wearing a seatbelt.
Police determined that speeding and alcohol consumption were factors in the crash. The family hopes that the driver will begin talking to other teens about the dangers of underage drinking and driving.
Although the percentage of teens drinking and driving has gone down significantly in the last two decades, many young people still admit to drinking and getting behind the wheel. Driving while intoxicated is incredibly dangerous at any age, but the relative inexperience of teens when it comes to operating a motor vehicle dramatically increases the rate of fatal car crashes when drugs or alcohol are involved. Even the light consumption of alcohol affects teens more substantially than adults, resulting in poor judgment and decreasing motor skills.
To find out more about liability in car accidents involving alcohol, meet with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney at Jacksonville’s Combs Greene.
Florida lawyer Shane Herbert also contributed to this blog post.