Parked along I-94, just west of Milwaukee, sat two Waukesha County sheriffs. It was fairly late that night when the officers were suddenly thrown forward in their vehicle, the back of their car having just been struck by another motorist. The squad car’s computer dislodged from its base as the squad car spun around.

They were disoriented but relatively all right. One of the officers appeared to have a large bruise on his arm and had hit his knee rather hard during the accident while the other officer had hit his head and chipped a tooth. Besides the neck and back pain, both officers considered themselves to be lucky to be alive.

But when officers looked up to see the other vehicle in flames, they knew they might not be the only injured people on the scene. Both officers rushed to the burning vehicle, pulling the 18-year-old driver and his 17-year-old passenger from the car.

The 17-year-old was unconscious and unresponsive, while the driver appeared to be conscious but disoriented. “I had started getting tired and fell asleep,” the teen explained to investigators just before explaining that he had consumed several alcoholic beverages before he had gotten behind the wheel that night.

The 18-year-old driver has been charged with the death of his 17-year-old passenger who died at a local hospital sometime after the accident occurred. He is also being charged with driving while intoxicated and two counts of causing injury with a motor vehicle.

Charges involving underage drinking can carry serious consequences, but when that intoxication leads to injury or death, the consequences can increase significantly. For surviving victims, it may be difficult to feel a sense of justice because it often times takes courts months to set trial dates and come back with a conviction. In situations where survivors feel that justice has not been served, they may seek legal assistance in order to help receive compensation from the negligent party.

Source: ThePatch.com, “Teen Dies from Injuries Suffered in Crash That Injured 2 Deputies,” Sarah Millard, Nov. 5, 2012