By Al Pefley - email
STUART, FL (WFLX) - More than a month and a half after a tragic car accident that killed three Martin County teens, we find out what police suspected all along -- alcohol played a role in the wreck. The boys were coming home from a party late at night.
They never made it home; killed in a crash at a road construction site. Troopers said from the very beginning that alcohol may have been a factor.
Now, it appears, they were right. Blood-alcohol test results show the three teens who died August 4 had more than just a sip or two of alcohol that night.
It appears they had more than that. A lot more.
One of them, the driver of the Jeep Cherokee, 18-year-old Nicholas Coady, had a blood-alcohol level of .251 percent. That's more than three times the legal limit of .08 at which a person in Florida is considered too impaired to drive.
The two passengers in the Jeep were nearly twice the legal limit. Eighteen-year-old Christopher Briglio tested at .129%. Sixteen-year-old Conner Graver had a blood-alcohol level measured at .152%.
"That's really high for teenagers. That's really high for anyone! I'm, I'm shocked. I'm in shock," said Jenny Steck, parent of a student at South Fork High School near Stuart.
According to friends of the boys, they had been at someone's house that night for a party and were headed home when their Jeep Grand Cherokee slammed into a front-end loader that was doing some road work on Cove Road in the wee hours of the morning.
Authorities have said beer cans were found in the teens' Jeep.
All three at one time attended South Fork High in Stuart.
Some parents there told us they can't believe the teens were drunk two or three times over the legal limit.
"I have kids that age. I don't understand how they were able to get all that, that kind of alcohol. I know they were at a party and they were at a home and I just, it surprises me that they drank that much! I mean that's a lot of alcohol. That's a lot of alcohol!" said Tammy Wallace, a parent at South Fork High.
"Not surprising in our society. But it is sad," said Sheila Breininger, another South Fork High parent.
"I hope that they'll learn from this lesson and it won't be repeated," said Mark Yoder, another parent who has a son at South Fork High.
We reached the father of one of the teens, Christopher Briglio, by phone. He declined to comment and referred us to his lawyer.
So how many drinks would an 18 year old have to consume to get a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit? A state trooper said it would be hard to say, and depends on things like his body weight, how much food he had to eat, and tolerance for alcohol.