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Passenger killed in accident, Raleigh police charge teen with DWI

Last week, the Raleigh community was devastated to learn that a student from Millbrook High School was killed in an alleged drunk driving accident. She was a passenger in a vehicle that was being driven by a friend who was later charged for causing the fatal crash.

The accident occurred Jan. 7 on Rainwater Road. WRAL News reported that the 17-year-old passenger, the 16-year-old driver and several other students from Millbrook High School were at a party the night before the accident. One student reported that when the party ended, the 17-year-old girl got into the car with her friend but that she must not have realized that her friend was too drunk to drive.

According to the accident report, the 16-year-old driver was traveling at about 75 mph in a 30 mph zone when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. He was treated for his injuries at a local hospital, but the other teen was killed.

Police said that they found alcohol in the driver's vehicle after the crash and that the driver may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the accident occurred. The teen driver has since been charged with felony death by motor vehicle, provisional DWI, reckless driving, having an open container of liquor, speeding, marijuana possession and other charges.

After the fatal crash, police reminded the community that it is illegal to sell or give alcohol to minors. Raleigh police also said that they were still investigating the incident in order to determine who may have been responsible for providing the underage driver with the alcohol that was found in his car.

Any North Carolina family who has lost a loved one in drunk driving accident may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the crash in order to seek compensation for their pain, suffering and other losses. However, families of drunk driving accident victims may also choose to file a wrongful death claim against any other party that may have contributed to the fatal accident, such as someone who illegally provided alcohol to a minor.

Source: WRAL News, "More charges possible in Raleigh teen's fatal crash," Jan. 10, 2012

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