By Dan Hust
LIBERTY May 14, 2002 A deadly mixture of speeding and DWI may have led to Thursdays fatal car accident in Liberty.
According to the State Police, 17-year-old James Stephens of Liberty was driving his 1984 Ford Mustang on Route 52 East near its Route 17 overpass when he lost control and slammed into a utility pole.
The car, which was allegedly traveling at speeds in excess of the posted 40 mph limit, wrapped around the pole, which then snapped and fell on the vehicle.
Two teenagers, 16-year-olds Martin Vogler Jr. and Aaron Miller of Liberty, sustained bone fractures in the accident, but it was 18-year-old Tyrone Jackson who paid the ultimate price when the car hit the pole. Jackson, due to graduate from Liberty High School this June, died from massive internal injuries.
Stephens suffered a bone fracture in his hand and was the only one wearing a seatbelt. He was charged with misdemeanor DWI.
Liberty firefighters and EMS workers responded to the scene and used special cutting tools to free the two back-seat passengers.
Sullivan County District Attorney Stephen Lungen said yesterday that the investigation into the accident is continuing. Specifically, hes waiting for the results of blood and forensic tests to determine if further charges against the driver are warranted. He expects to have the results and make a determination in about a week.
He declined to comment on how Stephens came to be charged with driving while intoxicated.
Please see the Obituaries section for Jacksons full obituary.