Non-Drinker, Non-Driver Faces Charges Related to Car Accident Injury, Death
Getting in a car accident can be an upsetting experience; causing a car accident because you're driving under the influence of alcohol can be terrifying. But what about causing a car crash without being in either of the vehicles involved? This may sound like a power reserved for angry Greek gods or superheroes, but, as one California man learned, it can happen to pretty much anyone.
Paul Stonebarger, 21, allegedly bought alcohol and gave it to 19-year-old Katie McKewon for a party she was attending in late October. The party lasted all night, and at around 10:00 the following morning, McKewon decided to drive home, according to SFGate.com. Another 19-year-old woman was reportedly in the car with her.
McKewon, who was still drunk from the party, apparently lost control of the car and hit a vehicle in the facing lane. Sources report that the 70-year-old driver of the other car was seriously injured and McKewon's 19-year-old passenger was killed.
Police records indicate that McKewon had a blood alcohol content of .23% at the time of the crash-nearly three times the legal limit for adults of legal drinking age. For those under 21, any alcohol detected on the breath is considered illegal.
Now Stonebarger, who apparently did not attend the party and was not in either car involved in the DUI crash, could face charges in connection with the accident. A special section of California DUI law outlines penalties specific to situations in which an adult's provision of alcohol to a minor results in injury or death.
Because McKewon's DUI accident caused both the injury of the elderly woman in the other car and the death of her passenger, Stonebarger can be held accountable. Sources indicate that he could face up to a year in county jail or a $1,000 fine.
According to reports, police were able to identify Stonebarger by interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance tapes from the liquor store where he purchased the deadly liquor. He was reportedly arrested when he came to the station for questioning. Records show that Stonebarger was both forthcoming and cooperative with law enforcers.
McKewon has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, according to SFGate.com. But, sources indicate, this is not her first brush with the law, nor is it her first incident involving injury or alcohol.
Reports in the Contra Costa Times reveal that she was arrested this June for public drunkenness and battery of a police officer. Though she was ordered by the Alameda Superior Court to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings thrice a week, her alcohol problems were apparently not solved.
Sources say that McKewon is set to appear in court in the near future for charges relating to both incidents.