When drinking and driving converge, the results can be disastrous. And, while they are difficult to predict, drunk driving accidents often seem to claim the lives of tragically young victims.
This harsh reality happened once again after a recent fatal car accident in Northfield, Vermont, that was allegedly caused by drunk driving.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, 18-year-old Renee Robbins died after a car containing eight Norwich University students crashed in a single car accident.
The car was being driven by 22-year-old Derek Saber, who was arrested by local police under suspicion of a DUI shortly after the accident.
In addition to Robbins’ death, three other people in the car suffered “critical” injuries during the accident. Four other students required hospitalization after the crash.
Before the accident, the eight occupants of the car had been at an off-campus party early Sunday morning. The passengers were all freshmen students at Norwich, and they lived in the same dormitory on campus.
The incident had a severe impact on the campus’s collective psyche, and many members of the campus community are grappling for answers.
According to Norwich President Richard Schneider, the incident was “an unfathomable tragedy,” and “the entire Norwich family is grieving over this.”
While the families of the accident victims face their own pains, the driver of the car and the leader of the party the students left before the accident are facing legal troubles of their own.
The driver, Derek Saber, allegedly had a blood alcohol level of .16, which doubled the legal limit of .08. He was arrested and held on $100,000 bail in a county jail in Vermont.
In addition to Saber’s legal troubles, 20-year-old Logan O’Neill, who hosted the party, was charged with various counts including possession of alcohol, enabling consumption of alcohol with a minor, and violating the terms of his release, stemming from a prior DUI charge of his own.
At the time of the party, O’Neill was under strict orders to avoid consuming alcohol due to the conditions established by a court after his second drunk driving arrest earlier this year.
Drunk driving accidents are one of the most common causes of teenage deaths in the United States. This statistic is particularly troubling in light of the fact that drunk driving accidents are completely preventable.