A teen who has been judged responsible for the deaths of four of his friends is facing up to 15 years in a state prison, according to local sources. The New York resident, who police say was high and speeding at the time of the fatal car accident, was judged guilty and sentenced to between five and 15 years in jail in relation to the 2012 accident. His representation lobbied to have him charged as a youthful offender, which would have cut his sentence down to four years, but this move was denied by the judge.
According to police records of the accident, which occurred on so-called Dead Man’s Curve in Long Island, the teen, who was 17 at the time of the accident, was under the influence of marijuana and driving in excess of 100 mph when the crash occurred. The force of the impact cut the boy’s vehicle completely in half. All four of his passengers were killed instantly.
The boy pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and to driving under the influence of marijuana, though the state has yet to develop a reliable barometer for marijuana’s influence on the brain and reflexes. Responses from the families of the deceased have ranged from forgiveness to vindictiveness. The specifics of his sentence have not yet been articulated by the court.
The tragedy of this car accident cannot be understated. However, it is important to remember that New York law will allow the families of the deceased victims an opportunity to seek further justice in the form of wrongful death lawsuits filed in civil court. The evidence of the young man’s culpability in this case can be used in the civil suits as well.
Source: NBC New York, “NYC Teen Gets Up to 15 Years in Long Island Crash That Killed 4 Friends“, Katherine Creag, Aug. 26, 2014