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Teen killed, 2 injured in fatal Richland County crash

Reports from the South Carolina Highway Patrol show that an 18-year-old man is accused of killing his 16-year-old brother in an alcohol-related car accident. The teen is facing drunk driving charges in connection with the underage drinking accident, which occurred during the early-morning hours of May 24.

Authorities report the young man and his two passengers were traveling along Shallow Brook Road when the vehicle hit a car that had been parked on the side of the street. That vehicle was legally parked, according to officers. The vehicle then careened off the road and struck several trees before coming to rest. The driver and front-seat passenger suffered injuries but survived the wreck. The teen in the back seat was not so lucky. Authorities said all of the vehicle's occupants were wearing their seatbelts. The driver was treated and released, though the passenger remains hospitalized at this time.

The wreck occurred at a critical time for many high-school students and their families, as they celebrate graduation and other events. This time of year is increasingly dangerous for young drivers, considering the prevalence of underage drinking at proms and other social activities. As a result, officers in the area have announced they are stepping up enforcement efforts to prevent youngsters from getting behind the wheel while drunk. Parents are urged to be vigilant during this season.

Officer say the investigation is still ongoing. They are working to determine whether speed or other factors may have also been involved in the wreck.

The simple fact that this young man has been charged with drunk driving does not make him automatically guilty. Even though media reports may vilify him, he has a right to a fair and impartial legal proceeding. If you are facing drunk driving charges, consider seeking the advice of a qualified criminal defense attorney. These professionals can help you learn more about your rights and responsibilities throughout the entire legal process.

Source:  www.thestate.com, "Spring Valley teen, 16, killed in Richland County wreck; brother, friend injured" Kelly Davis, May. 24, 2013

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