A teen driver faces multiple charges in connection with a June accident that killed three Johnstown teens, including vehicular homicide and possession of marijuana. The 16-year-old driver was traveling in a Mitsubishi Diamante with four passengers on June 26, when he lost control of the vehicle on Hardscrabble Road, according to officials.
The Mitsubishi slid off a berm, flipped and hit a tree, reportedly. Troopers from the Ohio State Patrol estimated the car was traveling at approximately 80 mph when it struck the tree. As a result of the crash, the car split in half. The three teen passengers in the backseat died in the wreck. The 16-year-old driver suffered injuries and was taken to Nationwide Children's Hospital. A 16-year-old passenger also suffered injuries requiring hospitalization. That passenger received emergency transport to Ohio Health Grant Medical Center.
The results of a blood test purportedly revealed that the teen driver had marijuana in his system. A conviction could result in the 16-year-old driver being sentenced to a Department of Youth Services facility until he is 21.
While this case has yet to be adjudicated, drivers whose reckless or negligent behavior leads to accidents resulting in fatalities may face not only criminal prosecution but also civil action. For, certain family members of people who die in car accidents attributed to negligent and reckless driving may hold the at-fault driver responsible for the incident in civil court. By filing a wrongful death claim, bereaved family members may seek financial restitution for the damages they suffered as a result of the fatal event, including funeral costs and burial expenses. A lawyer representing the bereaved family members may utilize evidence adopted from the police investigation in order to prove to a civil court that the at-fault driver should be held liable.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "3 Johnstown teens killed in crash that split car" Eric Lyttle, 06/27/2014.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Teen charged in fatal wreck that killed three friends", Eric Lyttle, September 19, 2014