The Orange County teenager accused of racing his vehicle against a rival truck, resulting in a fatal accident, has pleaded guilty to willful speed violation and reckless driving. A plea agreement has resulted in the dismissal of two charges of misdemeanor death. The young driver entered the plea even as relatives of the two decedents in the case sat in the courtroom.
Authorities report the two decedents, both age 16, died when their truck spun out of control and struck a tree during a road race. Additionally, two other teens who had been riding in the truck with the decedents were injured in the crash. None of the occupants of that vehicle were wearing their seatbelts, according to news reports.
The wreck happened just north of Hillsborough, North Carolina, on Dec. 29, 2012, according to official reports.
The two teen drivers reportedly knew each other, with both of the young men having some measure of friendship and rivalry between them. When the boys encountered each other on the road that night, they had a series of interactions that ultimately led to an illegal street race. Speeds in the race eclipsed 90 miles per hour.
As punishment, the young man received a 60-day suspended sentence and unsupervised probation. He will also be required to present information to the court about the dangers of street racing. That young man has since graduated from high school and plans to attend college beginning in the fall semester.
Family members of the victims may not be satisfied with the relatively lenient sentence. As a result, they could seek financial compensation through the civil court system. Relatives could recover damages for funeral costs and other tangible expenses, along with funds for claims such as loss of consort, emotional distress and pain and suffering. These individuals should consult a qualified personal injury attorney to find out more about their legal and financial options.
www.thetimesnews.com, "Orange teen pleads to racing charge for wreck that killed two" Beth Velliquette, Jul. 19, 2013