Tyler Shawn Gonzalez, 16, was killed on May 11 in a pedestrian accident. He was hit by an SUV who did not see him lying in the road.
Now, two Chehalis women face charges for furnishing the teen with alcohol prior to his death.
Gonzalez had drank alcohol at a party. Allegedly, two 22-year-old women furnished the underage youth with alcohol. At some point, Gonzalez left the party and he lay down in the roadway where he was hit by an SUV around 2:30am.
Gonzalez suffered fatal injuries to his head, chest and abdomen. His blood alcohol was tested and it was .17% showing that he was very intoxicated at the time of the accident.
The Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield is holding the two women responsible for Gonzalez’s death:
“The supplying and voluntary consumption of alcohol ultimately led to Tyler Gonzalez’s death. This is a sad, tragic and preventable accident. The initial actions of these two women ultimately set things in motion for the tragedy to occur. One must wonder if he would still be alive today had he not had access and consumed the alcohol which ultimately caused him to make some poor decisions resulting in his death.”
Social Hosts: The Law and Furnishing Alcohol to Minors
In this case, Gonzalez died. In many other cases where alcohol is furnished to teenagers, innocent people die including passengers in a car driven by a drunk teen or people in the motor vehicle an intoxicated teen hits.
In Washington state it is illegal for anyone to furnish alcohol to minors. There are serious legal consequences for those who do so. RCW 66.44.270 states, “It is unlawful for any person to sell, give or otherwise supply liquor to any person under the age of twenty-one years or permit any person under that age to consume liquor on his or her premises or on any premises under his or her control.” Penalties can include jail time and fines of up to $5,000.
Bars or liquor establishments may lose their liquor license if they knowingly serve or sell alcohol to minors.
As well as criminal charges, adults who furnish alcohol to minors can face civil charges and can beheld responsible for an accident.
Civil cases related to car accidents and alcohol can be very complex but an attorney who specializes in injury and accident law will be of great help for the family if they wish to seek compensation under Washington’s wrongful death statutes.
This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We are an injury an accident law firm and we have more than 30 years representing clients with their wrongful death claims.