UPDATE: Charges Filed In Death Of Teen
TUNKHANNOCK — Three people face charges in connection with the death of a 17 year old killed in an UTV crash two months ago.
Authorities in Wyoming County now say an underage drinking party happened near the scene of a crash that killed Christopher Packer near Tunkhannock in May.
Three people are now facing charges, a mother and two teens.
It was back in May when we learned that Christopher Packer, 17, of Tunkhannock died in a UTV crash in the woods off Vago Road near Lemon. A UTV is an off-road recreational vehicle.
Now authorities say some teens were drinking in the woods at the scene of the crash right before it all happened. They believe two teens brought alcohol to that party and state police say a mother from Meshoppen bought the beer for them.
18-year-old Joshua Harris of Tunkhannock walked into a magistrate’s office in Wyoming County, looking distraught, followed by his friend 18-year old Casey McClaine of Meshoppen.
These two along with Casey’s mother, Christine McClaine are all facing serious charges: Allegedly providing alcohol to 20 kids at an underage party that turned deadly.
According to court papers, police say the party happened in these woods near Lemon back in May, right before an off-road utility vehicle crashed, killing 17-year old Christopher Packer.
“There was a party in the woods beer was provided, there`s allegations of marijuana use and this resulted in a fatality unfortunately,” said Wyoming County District Attorney Jeff Mitchell.
Casey’s mother, Christine McClaine was away in Pittsburgh when her son showed up at the magistrate’s. Police say Christine is supposed to turn herself in as well.
In court papers, she said she bought the beer for her son to be more of a friend, because Casey’s dad was tough on him. Parents in the area disagree.
“You can`t be a friend to your kids, you can a little bit but they need structure and parenting They don`t need a friend they have friends,” said Amy Keough of Meshoppen.
According to court papers Christine McClaine Purchased the alcohol here at Plaza Beverage in Tunkhannock, the owners here say they`re rather upset over the situation.
Very upset because we know the family. Very upset over their loss, but like I said the people that purchased the beer were of age, and there`s nothing we can do about that,” said Plaza Beverage Owner Bill Jeffreys.
Jeffreys says the parents of Christopher Packer are distraught over their son’s death. Both Jeffreys and prosecutors say parents and the teens involved in this underage party need to be held responsible.
“Parents have to watch what they`re doing and they can`t be buying alcohol for their kids and giving it to them, that`s why the rule is 21 years old,” said Jeffreys.
“Combining alcohol with drugs and wreckless behavior, a tragedy can result,” said Mitchell.
Both McClaine and Harris were released today on $10,000 dollars unsecured bail and are scheduled to be back in court next week. Casey’s mother in expected to turn herself in tomorrow.
Authorities also say charges may be filed against the juvenile driver of the off-road vehicle that crashed and killed Packer.