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Regardless of how many years of experience a person has driving, it is always dangerous to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, one Ohio teenager apparently had to learn this lesson the hard way when he was involved in a car accident in which three of his friends lost their lives. The 16-year-old now faces criminal charges stemming from the car accident.

The teen was driving four of his friends in June when the crash occurred. Even though he only had his driver’s license for two months, his grandmother allowed him to borrow her vehicle. The State Highway Patrol estimated that he was traveling around 80 mph when he lost control of the vehicle.

The vehicle slid off the road, which was on a ledge, causing it to flip and crash into a tree. The impact split the car in half, and the three backseat passengers — a 17-year-old boy and two 15-year-old girls — lost their lives instantly. The front-seat passenger had to be hospitalized. According to Ohio law, if a parent is not an occupant of the vehicle, then a 16-year-old is only permitted to have one passenger in the vehicle.

The Ohio teenager faces several criminal charges in relation to the car accident. However, regardless of whether he is convicted in criminal court, the parents of each of the deceased passengers have the right to file a wrongful death suit against the teenage driver and the vehicle owner in an effort to be reimbursed for damages such as funeral costs and other financial losses. Additionally, the front-seat passenger who was hospitalized can also take civil action against the driver to seek monetary damages, including his personal pain and suffering.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, “Teen charged in fatal wreck that killed three friends“, Eric Lyttle, Sept. 19, 2014