WINONA, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota teen won’t be tried as an adult in a crash last spring that left three classmates dead and a fourth with serious injuries.

Winona County Judge Jeffrey Thompson says the community would benefit little from certifying the 18-year-old as an adult, and that he could benefit from programming in the juvenile system if he’s convicted.

The Winona Daily News reports the teen will face a jury as a juvenile under extended jurisdiction, a blend of juvenile and adult court in Minnesota. He would receive both a juvenile and an adult sentence if convicted.

The Lewiston-Altura High School student was 17 at the time of the accident last April. Deputies say a 16-year-old girl was driving a vehicle that clipped the boy’s pickup when she tried to pass him at 90 mph. Her vehicle rolled in a ditch. She and two girls in her vehicle died, and a fourth was hurt.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (11)
  1. Tad G says:

    For once I actually think they got this non-adult thing right. It was an accident. Careless for sure but an accident and he has to live with that forever.
    We all were young and dumb. Many of us did the same reckless thing – we just were luckier.
    What a horrific thing …. my prayers and thoughts goes out to all involved.

  2. merks says:

    so what will his punishment be no dessert?

    1. WalkAMile... says:

      I’m guessing his punishment will be living with what he did until the day he dies.
      There but for the grace of God go a lot of us…

  3. pat says:

    Why would it be his fault if she tried to pass him at 90 miles per hour…..I don’t get it…

    1. Not the Judge and Jury says:

      If I remember correctly from when this originally happened, he was going around 90 and she was trying to pass him. They were both at fault, but since she passed away…

  4. Marisa Bohar says:

    I’m confused. The 17-year-old boy is the one charged, yet the 16-year-old girl is the one that caused the accident in the first place when she was going 90 trying to pass him and rolling her car? That doesn’t make sense that he’s charged.

  5. Dave Seavy says:

    WalkAMile is right – This was a teen-aged act gone terribly tragic. Most of us – not all but most of us, myself included, can thank God any of our immature actions at that age didn’t mame or kill someone. The Court is right – there’s no benefit to tossing him in prison forever. The truly innocent victims are the passengers of the other vehicle. Both drivers caused this.

  6. Cache says:

    He was clipped by a crazy Babe trying to pass him that was doing 90mph and he’s going to trial???? What’s wrong with this picture??? Sounds a little twisted to me!

    1. More Compassion Needed? says:

      The story just isn’t written clear enough. He was going 90 and she tried to pass him–i.e. they were racing. She was not a crazy Babe, She was a beautiful 17 yr old child, someone’s daughter. They made a terrible mistake. She paid the ultimate price and he has to live with their actions. I hope you or your children never have to go through anything like it.

  7. sad says:

    True he was speeding as was she, certainlly no intent. When this young man has chldren I doubt he will let them drive. Horrible for all families and I think the judge made the right call.

  8. Ellen says:

    I remember when this was on the news, and it was such a tragedy. Yes they were racing, but it takes 2 for this to happen. If only she had backed off instead of considering it a challenge or whatever. Young drivers think they’re 10 feet tall and bulletproof, and it’s very sad. My beloved almost-17 grandson is driving now, and I lecture him plenty on driving safe. We bought the car for him, and we FORBID him to use his cell while driving and if we find out he’s taking chances he will be car-less in a heartbeat. He talks to us about the chances his friends take while driving, and it makes me cringe to think of it. I can only hope that all of our advice sinks in.

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