What may have been part of a prank ended in tragedy on Oct. 23. Police in Aurora have charged a 15-year-old male as an adult for his alleged role in a car accident that took the life of one of his passengers.
According to the DuPage County state’s attorney, the defendant was driving three other males in his parents’ car, which he had taken without permission. The car hit a curb, drove off the road and crashed into the attached garage of a nearby house. The impact threw the victim out of the back seat. His injuries were so severe that he died at the scene. The other three friends suffered minor injuries.
Police believe that, while the defendant was not intoxicated, he did not have a driver’s license and was going at a high rate of speed. The state’s attorney referred to “joy-riding or pulling some type of prank.” Authorities believe the teens may have been out stealing neighbors’ pumpkins to pile in front a girl’s house when the accident occurred.
As children become teenagers, they often feel they are ready to be more independent. They may feel that they do not need the lessons and experience associated with a learner’s permit, but terrible incidents like this one appear to confirm why learning proper driver safety is so important.
“Driving a car is not a right,” the state’s attorney said. “It is a privilege that is earned once a person is 16 years old and has had the proper training.”
The defendant turned himself in on Nov. 2 and was charged with reckless homicide.
Source: Chicago Daily Herald, “15-year-old driver charged with reckless homicide,” Neil Holdway and Christopher Placek, Nov. 2, 2012