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Ohio police say that marijuana may have led to fatal crash

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has revealed that the 16-year-old boy involved in a fatal collision in June 2014 may have been under the influence of drugs. THC, which is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, was reportedly discovered in the boy's system, and the toxicology report has been turned over to Licking County prosecutors along with the results of the accident investigation. The car accident, which claimed the lives of three teens, took place on Hardscrabble Road near Alexandria.

Police believe that the car was traveling at a speed of between 76 mph and 82 mph when it spun out of control and struck a tree. The force of the impact split the vehicle into two pieces. The rear part of the car was propelled into a farmhouse, and three teens who had been in the back seat were killed. The front of the car spun across the roadway, and the 16-year-old driver and a front-seat passenger were injured.

Authorities say that a decision has not yet been made regarding charges, but an attorney representing the driver questioned the value of the toxicology report. He said that the mere presence of THC in the system did not mean that his client was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. This is because the metabolite can remain in an individual's system for weeks or even months after using marijuana, so prosecutors are tasked with proving that the teen was actually impaired by marijuana at the time of the accident.

This accident serves as a somber reminder that reckless actions on the road, whether they involve impaired driving or speeding, can have tragic consequences. Families who lose a loved one in a motor vehicle accident may have civil remedies available to them even if the driver at fault faces no criminal sanctions. A personal injury attorney could file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf if the accident was the result of negligent behavior.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Patrol: Teen driver in fatal wreck had used marijuana ", Eric Lyttle, August 27, 2014

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