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Teen found responsible for New York car accident sentenced

A grisly car wreck that killed four young people has been deemed the fault of one teenager, who is now facing jail time. A New York court ruled against the teen, who was reportedly high on marijuana at the time of the car accident back in Oct. 2012. Despite assertions by his representation that he should be charged as a youth, he was prosecuted as an adult and now faces five to 15 years in prison.

The young man, who was 17 at the time of the accident, admitted to smoking marijuana prior to getting into the car that night. His vehicle was seen traveling at speeds exceeding 100 mph when the crash happened on a rain-slicked section of the Southern State Parkway. His vehicle left the road and struck a tree with enough force to shear the vehicle completely in half.

All four of the man's passengers, also teenagers, were killed on impact. Miraculously, he suffered only minor injuries and was found by emergency response personnel looking for survivors with his cell phone light. He was treated for his injuries and then arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter. Additional charges of DUI were also filed, though the state of New York does not have clear guidelines detailing how to gauge marijuana intoxication. He was found guilty and sentenced on Aug. 26 of this year.

Now that sentencing has been passed down, the young man will be spending considerable time in jail. However, New York law allows the families of those who died in the car accident to seek financial reparations in the form of wrongful death suits in civil court. The evidence used to find the man guilty in criminal court may be offered as proof of liability in the civil case.

Source: New York Post, "Teen sentenced in 2012 wreck that killed his four friends", Leonard Greene, Aug. 27, 2014

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