Teen romances have been the topic of stories and tales since time immemorial. Perhaps it’s because they tend to represent both young love and the promise of long-lasting happiness. But most teen relationships die out organically – although a tragic few end suddenly.
This week, two high schools in Lake County are dealing with the loss of students after a double fatal auto accident less than a quarter mile from the Wisconsin border. On Monday night about 7pm, a 16-year old boy was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer with his 17-year old girlfriend sitting beside him. The sport utility vehicle was traveling west on Wilmot Road just west of Lake Street and Channel Lake when it left the roadway and struck a tree, which was uprooted and tossed on top of the SUV. Both teens were pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities are still investigating the cause of the accident, but they believe that weather conditions may have been a factor. Blowing snow, high winds, and slick roads were reported in the vicinity of the crash. The boy attended Antioch Community High School, while the girl was enrolled at Lakes Community High School.
Despite the terrible tragedy, the 16-year old driver will likely be held responsible for the auto accident. So if the parents of the girl wish to do so, they could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the parents of the driver (because he is a minor). The suit could allow the family of the girl to collect estimated future wages she would have earned in her lifetime, reimbursement for burial expenses, and monetary damages for mental anguish and loss of companionship. Even though it may seem insensitive to sue a family who has lost a teenage son, the girl’s parents are grieving their daughter’s loss as well – and the boy was responsible for her safety because he was behind the wheel of the SUV.