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Teen charged with reckless homicide, could have been racing

What can be done to make teen drivers realize that they are not invincible when they are behind the wheel? Far too often teenagers are more eager to show off to their friends than follow the rules of the road and do everything possible to get home safely. This could have been the case with an accident that happened a few months ago, which left a 16-year-old passenger dead and the 17-year-old driver facing charges of reckless homicide, reckless driving and aggravated reckless driving.

The car accident happened when the driver reportedly lost control of his Ford F-150 pickup truck. Both teens were thrown from the vehicle after it flipped over and crashed into a tree. According to the charges, the driver was speeding at the time of the accident. The speed limit along the suburban Chicago road was 35 mph.

According to the teen, who is from Lockport, Illinois, he had to take evasive action to avoid a deer that was standing in the road. It's unknown if there was actually a deer there. That may be something that is hard for police to prove. But two other teens who had previously been in the truck allegedly told police that the road the accident happened on is a popular racing spot for drivers.

The family of the victim has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. If he is convicted of the criminal charges it could help bolster their attempt to prove liability in their lawsuit. If he is convicted of reckless homicide he could be in juvenile detention until his 21st birthday. That may not seem like a suitable punishment to the victim's family. A wrongful death lawsuit is another avenue to hold a negligent driver responsible.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Teen charged with reckless homicide in fatal crash," Ashley Rueff, Dec. 18, 2012

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