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South Carolina teen accused of underage drinking in fatal wreck

A 65-year-old woman who was involved in a head-on collision allegedly caused by a drunk driver in South Carolina has died from her injuries. The woman and her 43-year-old daughter were reportedly involved in the collision on Highway 110 on March 22, according to official reports. A 44-year-old man and his 11-year-old daughter are still receiving intensive treatment at a local hospital. The defendant, age 19, is facing allegations of underage drinking and driving for his role in the wreck.

Authorities say that officers saw the defendant driving by at a high rate of speed just seconds before the accident occurred. That driver allegedly passed a deputy, who captured the encounter on a dash camera. The driver is reportedly seen crossing the solid yellow centerline on the highway; the deputy arrived at the crash scene less than a minute later.

Prosecutors have brought underage drinking and driving charges, including felony DUI with death and felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury. The man is also accused of having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle, in addition to failing to stop for the deputy who had begun to pursue him. The young driver was reportedly taken to a hospital after the collision, and he was transferred into police custody shortly thereafter.

Police reports show that the young man admitted to consuming alcohol, marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms before getting behind the wheel of the car. It is not yet clear whether he intends to file a guilty plea in the case. Criminal defense attorneys for underage drinking defendants in South Carolina may provide additional information about plea options, allowing defendants to make educated choices about their criminal proceedings.

Source: Fox Carolina, "Deputies: Teen drove drunk in fatal head-on Cherokee Co. wreck" Jessica Camp and Ashley Daley, Mar. 24, 2014

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