The pain a parent feels when their child dies is incalculable. How much worse might it be for a parent who could be responsible for their child's death?
That is impossible to know, but it is an issue a New Hampshire man is grappling with as he deals with the death of his teenage son. The man is accused of negligent homicide and DUI after a traffic accident late last month about 50 miles southwest of Rochester.
New Hampshire State Police claim that the 37-year-old father was driving while drunk. They say the Nashua man's blood alcohol content was 0.145 percent an hour after the fatal crash in Merrimack. The legal threshold is 0.08 percent.
News reports indicate that the man's 14-year-old son was a seventh grader who lived in Auburn, Maine.
A state trooper recently testified during a two-hour probable cause hearing that skid marks and other evidence at the scene of the crash indicated that the father drove the car over a median, rolling the vehicle. The officer said that when the car was turned back over onto its wheels, he spotted a brandy bottle next to the driver's seat.
Another trooper told the court that he was in the hospital when the father regained consciousness. The man allegedly told a third trooper that he had consumed five shots of brandy prior to picking his son up that day.
In similar situations, courts are charged with weighing all the evidence presented, and arguments made by both prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys, before rendering verdicts.
Source: WGME, "NH State Police: Bottle of brandy found in accused drunk driver's car," March 3, 2014