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Police sift crash evidence in Texas teen’s death

Circumstances surrounding the death of a Texas City teenager are under investigation in Galveston. The Ford Mustang that the 18-year-old and four others occupied plummeted off a seawall close to East Beach.

A preliminary police report dismissed the possibility of a drunk driving accident. A reconstruction team is examining evidence for other possibilities for the car accident including unsafe driving practices.

The plunge off the Galveston seawall occurred during an early Sunday morning, several hours after the teen told his mother that he was planning to attend a birthday party.

The parent told law enforcement officials she did not know the friends who accompanied her son that night. Apparently, the high school student never mentioned he was traveling to Galveston.

A 19-year-old male was driving the Mustang when it dove off the seawall. He and two 14-year-old female passengers sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Another passenger, a 16-year-old male Texas City resident, was critically injured.

School district officials, the mother’s employer and local community members are providing emotional and financial support. The mother’s low-wage, fast-food job cannot cover the $10,000 expense for the teenager’s burial and funeral services.

The money the 18-year-old received from working two part-time jobs was an important supplement to his family’s income. The teen’s mother has lost her son and possibly the finances to support the household they shared.

Police could learn that driver negligence was responsible for the crash. The discovery that driver distraction or speeding caused the Mustang to veer out of control could result in criminal charges against the 19-year-old who was behind the wheel.

The families of the teens who were hurt, or died, may file personal injury claims for harm caused by the driver’s thoughtless behaviors. Medical, funeral and burial expenses are among the expenses plaintiffs recover in liability and wrongful death civil actions.

Liability claims may be initiated whether or not criminal charges are filed or a conviction is made.

Source:, “Cause of fatal seawall crash unclear,” T.J. Aulds and Christopher Smith Gonzalez, Sept. 18, 2012

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