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John Bisnar
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Teen charged with vehicular homicide

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Street racing turns into fatal car accident.

A Washington teenager, has been charged with vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run due to a fatal auto accident early last month, according to a story in the Bellingham Herald. It was at least the third fatal auto accident in Bellingham in the last twelve months involving teen drivers and high speeds.

The 17-year-old teenager was driving an Acura Integra, allegedly racing a 16-year-old, driving a Dodge Neon when Neon crashed into the side of a pickup truck, while the 17-year-old drove away, according to documents. The boys attend the same high school. The driver of the Integra has denied that he was racing.

An investigation of accident scene by the police department revealed evidence that the Dodge Neon was traveling about 94 mph before braking and then hitting the pickup truck at about 83 mph. The speed limit at the site of the accident is 50 mph.

David “Fred” Boettner, 62, the passenger in the pickup truck, was killed in the crash. The driver, John McClellan, 37, received minor injuries.

The driver of the Dodge Neon will be charged with vehicular homicide once he is released from the hospital, according to the police. The Dodge Neon caught fire in the accident and severely burned the teen driver. He remains in serious condition at Haborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Franks witnessed the crash and called 911 four or five minutes later, telling the dispatcher that he wasn’t involved in the collision, according to court documents. But he did not stop at the scene.

According to the police the Acura Integra’s driver’s version of the accident was not consistent with witness statements. Witnesses reportedly told police they saw both cars racing near the scene before the accident.

This is another case of teenage street racing resulting in a fatal auto accident. One seemingly innocent man has died. Another man is injured. One teenage driver was severely burned and both face vehicular homicide charges.

The 17-year-old driver of the Acura Integra reportedly has been involved in other accidents, has a string of tickets and witnesses say he has been seen speeding a number of times. Is this a case of the teens parents being charged civilly with “negligent entrustment” of an automobile?