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Alcohol and speeding cost three teens their lives

A tragic accident this May at Stony Creek Park, has been attributed to speed and alcohol by the Macomb County Sheriff's office. A Jaguar carrying five teens was estimated to be travelling at speeds greater than 70 miles per hour when it jumped a guardrail, flipped five times and came to rest in Stony Creek. Three of the teens died at the crash scene and the two survivors were critically injured.

According to police, all of the teens had alcohol in their blood and two had other drugs. But it was speeding that led to the deadly accident. They reportedly just avoided a head-on collision prior to the rollover crash, and the driver of the other vehicle estimated their Jaguar as speeding at 70 mph in a 35 mph zone.

Teens are different. Their brains are not fully developed and are subject to impulsive and reckless behavior. This is one reason why alcohol use is prohibited and why a driver license for a teen now comes with additional restrictions.

In Michigan, the graduated driver licensing law limits the times some teens may drive and the number of passengers who may accompany them. As this case shows, the presence of multiple 17-year-old boys in a vehicle, encouraged by youthful recklessness and with alcohol further lowering inhabitations, can prove a deadly combination.

It is unclear what level of the graduated license program the driver possessed. He may have had an unrestricted Level 3 license, with is similar to an adult license for those age 21 or older.

If he had a Level 2, license, he should not have had more than one passenger younger than 21 in the vehicle. Parents, however, may continue the restriction of a Level 2 license until they are an adult at age 18.

While no criminal charges are pending, it is likely that civil lawsuits will be filed by the families of the deceased teens.

These tragic crashes are entirely preventable, and the best prevention is to keep teens out of these types of situations in the first place.

Source: freep.com, "Teens drinking, speeding before deadly Stony Creek crash," Christina Hall, July 15, 2015

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