A 16-year-old boy is being charged with causing the deaths of four people in an auto accident. The fatal crash occurred in Burleson, a suburb of Fort Worth. According to an Associated Press report, the accident occurred when the teen's pickup truck crashed into a disabled SUV that was stopped on the road. The crash killed the driver of the SUV, as well as three other people who had stopped to help.
According to police, the boy was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, and his blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit in Texas. (The report did not make clear if the amount referred to the limit for adults, which is .08, or for minors, where any amount of alcohol in a person's system subjects them to a crime.)
Given the gravity of the crime (the teen had seven other passengers in his truck) prosecutors are seeking the maximum penalty for juveniles, which is 20 years.
Aside from the criminal implications, the teen (as well as his parents) face civil liability stemming from the crash. The family members of the people killed in the crash could initiate wrongful death suits, which are lawsuits that seek compensation due to the loss of life caused by the crash. Essentially, a criminal conviction could serve as the basis for proving that the teen failed to use reasonable care in driving the truck, and that breach of the duty to use such care was the proximate cause of the deaths in the accident.
If you have questions about wrongful death suits, an experienced personal injury attorney can help.
Source: ABCLocal.go.com, Intoxication manslaughter charges filed against teen accused in North Texas wreck that killed four people and injured two others, September 11, 2013