Last year, a drunk-driving accident took the life of a 17-year-old Pennsylvania passenger. The parents of the victim have opened a wrongful death claim against the driver of the car, a minor at the time, and the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, its owner and the owner's daughter.
Police determined that the driver's blood alcohol content exceeded 0.13 when he struck a tree on the grounds of the Farmington resort. A BAC of 0.08 is the limit afforded adults who are legally allowed to consume alcohol. The fatal car crash took the life of the Chalk Hill teen and injured two of five other occupants.
The driver was arrested and charged with DUI vehicular homicide, DUI aggravated assault and a series of other offenses that were reviewed in a juvenile court. The driver was ordered to perform community service and wear an electronic monitor for 180 days.
The defendant was also required to complete a substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder counseling program at a rehabilitation facility in Aliquippa. The young adult was stripped of driving privileges for as long as eight years.
The parents who filed the negligence suit blame the drunk driver for their son's death. The suit alleges the owner of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort knew about and "did not lift a finger" to keep his daughter from hosting parties where underage drinkers were served alcohol. The resort owner's daughter is accused of plying the teen driver with rum and whiskey on the night of the fatal car crash.
A jury will decide whether the accused parties played a role in the single-vehicle accident and how much each party contributed to a wrongful death. A trail of carelessness appears to extend from an irresponsible young driver fueled by alcohol to the daughter of an allegedly neglectful resort owner.
Compensation may be awarded to the accident victim's relatives for the economic and emotional suffering connected the loss of their son in a senseless, preventable accident.
Source: heraldstandard.com, "Parents of teen who died in Nemacolin crash sue resort, its founder," Jennifer Harr, Oct. 31, 2012