Teen May Be Tried As Adult In Drunken Crash That Killed 1, Overturned Bus

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prosecutors want a 17-year-old boy tried as an adult on charges that he killed a 70-year-old man during a drunken drive in Los Angeles and then smashed into a school bus, injuring 19 people.

The teen is scheduled for arraignment Thursday on charges of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident. His name wasn’t released because he’s a minor.

Prosecutors say he was driving a BMW that ran a red light and hit 70-year-old Eduardo Gaytan on Monday afternoon in Boyle Heights, east of downtown.

The car then hit a school bus, flipping it onto its side. The bus driver and 18 Roosevelt High School students were treated for injuries.

Authorities say two passengers in the BMW, including a 14-year-old boy, haven’t been charged with a crime.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • courtney

    why aren’t the other 2 kids being charged the fled from the scene also

  • Jeremiah

    What the kid did was a horrible tragedy. However, I do not think he should be tried as an adult. The law specifies 18 as the age to considered an adult…I’m tired of seeing it bent every time a kid is arrested for something heinous. It is a mistake that will haunt him forever but trying him as an adult will just destroy his life and make him a product of the system; destined to become a worse individual.

    That’s my 2 cents.

    • Carol

      And you have right to your “two cents” but in this day and age, these kids know right from wrong and clearly he was in the wrong. He now has blood on his hands because of a stupid decision.

      Is the charge correct for his crime? Absolutely.

    • kat

      I agree with you, Jeremiah. It’s a horrible tragedy, but that doesn’t make a teenager into an adult at the time of the crime. The kid needs to be punished severely, but he should not be treated as severely as an adult. The law and common sense presume that a 16 or 17 year old kid does not have the same capacity to understand the full implications of his actions, or the same ability to exercise good judgment, as adults are supposed to have.

  • CA562DUDE

    Hey Jeremiah, I agree with you but, if he killed of your family member(s) you would not be saying that at all. you def want some severe justice done.. Plus you would even try to pass a harder laws for underage drinker(s).. writing to congress, protesting etc… people don’t do things unless it happens to you..

  • Voice of Reason

    I guess no one here remembers what it was like to be 17 and make the stupidest of mistakes. We all made them; some were bad and others were downright terrible. We would all be sitting in prison if we had been caught for half the things we did. I don’t pass judgment on this kid because I have teenagers of my own and I hope to God that they never see themselves in a situation like this one. All we can do as parents is teach them the best we can and hope that they listen. But, in reality how many teenagers listen to everything their parents tell them? I feel terrible for the man that was killed and his family. Justice should be served and he should pay for his crimes, but I don’t think he should have to sit in jail for life for a mistake he made as a teen. IF he gets charged as an adult, he will probably do life. Who’s car was he driving anyway? He is too young to own a BMW.

    • Señor Loco

      If he is convicted, it is very unlikely that he will receive a life sentence based on the current standards of sentencing in the state of California. Most likely, the worst he’ll get is vehicle manslaughter (with a plea bargain) or second degree murder, and neither ever usually result in spending the rest of one’s life behind bars. As far as I’m concerned, if he is old enough to receive a driver’s license then he is old enough to be held accountable and responsible for the consequences of anything that happens whenever he is behind the wheel of a car. And I do remember what it was like to be 17 once, and had I committed a crime that resulted in great harm or death to another individual I would have accepted without protest whatever penalty was deemed appropriate by the justice system.

    • krg

      Mistakes yes. But I never killed anyone. He’s 17 and he’s old enough to know better. Drinking was not only illegal since he’s under age, but drinking and driving sure isn’t a law he hadn’t heard of before.

  • Sylvia

    I agree with Jeremiah! and CA562DUDE I would have mercy on the kid even if he killed one of my own. I am a victim of a life taken from me and I am also a victim of a young one serving a life time sentence for a stupid mistake they made that took a life of another. No one wins here!!!! I believe as Jeremiah that this will haunt the young lad for the rest of his life and I can only hope that he truly has learned his lesson.

  • GIll

    I do not condone what happen but charging a minor as a adult is wrong.

    A minor is a minor, A adult is a adult. period. Our country loves charging minors with adult crimes because its easier for them to get guilty convictions.

  • Alan Hart

    Another abuse by the Cooley office. Why do we have a juvenile justice system if they DA’s can file as they pl;ease?

  • JJ

    Old enough to drive, old enough to understand breaking the law.

    Old enough to pay the price. Stop being so soft because he is 17 and not an adult.

    If that was your 70 year old father you’d be playing a different tune.

  • rick

    to me 17 is not a minor i graduated high school at 17 as im sure many have and i joined the ARMY a week later with permission from my parents yes he was under 18 so not a legal adult but surely old enough to know that driveing drunk was more then just stupid its a crime and no matter what age we are if we are old enough to do the crime we need to be old enough to do the time try him as an adult because the pain he likely feels in him self is not punishment for the crime.

  • moral_threat

    How would you feel if he had just shot and killed someone? Would you then reconsider charging his as an adult?

    • CR

      I think we spent too much time reasoining in this day and age, about the criminal act, instead of the victim. I think the minor should be tried as an adult. If he pleads guilty, let the courts decide. As one gentlman said, he will probably not serve life. Although I have compassion on young people who make mistakes, several questions should be asked here. One writer mentioned, “Who’s car is this, anyway?”He killed one man, and could have taken many more. If he is not tried as an adult, he should possibly get 5-7 years at a min/medium facility.
      We have to think about the victim’s family, and everyone who was traumatized by this thoughtless act.

  • rick

    maybe. how much will you give me if i do ?

  • Maryanna

    I think he should be tried as an adult! Why give him a slap on the hand and let him go. He wanted to act as an adult, let him pay for the mistakes he did as an adult. But yourself in the families shoes and see how you would feel if it was one of your love ones injured or did.

  • Ida

    When I was young I made stupid decisions….for my age…..such as sneaking out the window, smoking a cigarette etc. etc. Now, these things were “stupid”… Driving out of control, killing someone, AND trying to flee the scene!!! This is not 17 year old “stupid”behavior. This was adult behavior and should be treated as such.

  • http://Yahoo ThreesaFamily

    Okay, I read all your guys reactions to this story and there ALL RIGHT! We all have our own ways of thinking and what we consider whats right and what wrong. This kid knows right from wrong and knows what he was doing prior this incident. He drank, got in to a car and drove to some where. He knew what would have happened but again his mind was not in same state of mind as a sober person but that still does not make it any better nor worse. He will be behind bars for a long time it may not be for life but as a 17 year old going to jailbprison it will seem like life. To be tried as a adult will ony inhance the duration of his sentence which will make some peole happy. (and understandable) He can also be tried as a minor and can get a sentence that is of great deal to his punishment. I’m not one to take a side that has to deal with our feelings on each and every topic but we will all be sing a different note if we had/knew some one that was a victim. All we can do is pray for the family and pray for that boy, were not one to judge.

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