Teen Had Too Many Passengers In Deadly Car Crash

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May 30, 2007
Posted By: Jenell Walton

New Ohio law states a 16-year-old driver can have just one passenger that is not a family member inside their vehicle.  

Investigators have released the names of the teenage survivors involved in yesterday’s accident in Colerain Township that took the lives of two teenage girls.

The driver was just 16-years-old.

Authorities say he could face charges for simply having more than one passenger in the car.

The driver, Chad Metzcar, and two of his passengers, Dustin and Derek Linderman, are listed in fair condition at Children’s Hospital.

A new Ohio law says there should be just one passenger inside a car driven by a 16-year-old driver.

There were four passengers inside the vehicle.

A new Ohio teen driving law went into effect two months ago to try to prevent just what happened along Buell Road yesterday in Colerain Township – five teenagers in a car, allegedly speeding, losing control – leading to the deaths of two passengers.

“You’re dealing with teenagers, inexperienced drivers. By limiting the occupants in the car, you’re going to have the greater chance that that driver is paying more attention to what they should be paying attention too which is driving,” says Lieutenant Anthony Lauer, of the Ohio State Patrol.

14-year-old friends, Lauren Dietz and Miranda Phelps died at the scene.

Two other passengers, 16-year-old Dustin Linderman and 14-year-old Derek Linderman survived along with the driver, 16-year-old Chad Metzcar.

Ohio law states a 16-year-old driver can only have one passenger that’s not a family member inside their car.

The president of the Northwest Local School District Board, Bruce Gehring, says the board will look into ways to try to prevent this from happening again.

“You want to sit down as a board, and as an individual, and sit down and see,” Gehring said. “Second guess, is there anything we could have done? Anything we should have done? Anything we can do to prevent this from happening in the future?”

Gehring says he’s not sure if anything can be done.

“The fact of the matter is, they were being kids,” said Gehring. “Let’s face it. The real question I think here is, ‘Yes, we have a great Ohio Law. How do we enforce it?'”

Lieutenant Lauer admits enforcing the law is a challenge.

“What you might believe is a 17-year-old, might be a 21-year-old,” said Lt. Lauer. “So that’s where it’s tough for law enforcement to be able to judge.”

The driver, Chad Metzcar, does not face any charges at this time.

The Ohio State Patrol is asking parents to sit down with their teen drivers and explain the new law and use this accident as an example of why it’s important to follow it.


1 Comment

  1. Thank you Jenell for posting this story. Here in California, teen drivers don’t follow all the teen driving laws. The teen driving statistics are probably filled with tragic accidents like this one. Everyone goes through a learning process and rookie drivers that probably just got through teen driving school have a lot to process – busy highways, valley fog, night driving, road rage, drivers that like to cut in front, motorcylists spliting lanes, roadwork, potholes, rain downpours, rock slides, downed trees, drivers putting on makeup or talking on the phone, drivers that don’t signal before changing lanes and so on.

    I really, really, really like the idea behind these RookieDriver car magnets. They look great and they’re not embarassing. It makes sense that a responsible teen driver thought it up. More parents like his should back good ideas like this so we can give teen drivers a bit more room. Teen driving improves with more experience. So if we see a rookie driver out there, let’s give them more space.

    Thanks again.

    Rick in California

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