EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A survivor of the Tragedy on Walnut Road won't have driving privileges for the next year. A judge made that ruling Thursday at a disposition for the girl in Eau Claire County court.
The girl, who the court ordered us not to identify for this story, will also serve a minimum nine months of home detention. It's because investigators say she gave car keys to Austin Gable, 14, who drove in the apparent hill-jumping crash that killed him and two other teenagers. That happened south of Eau Claire in December 2011.
Our cameras were not allowed in the courtroom when the judge made his decision. He said the girl was a part of a chain of events that enabled what he described as the perfect storm.
“That's not the same type of sentence as an adult would receive, but we're not dealing with an adult,” said Eau Claire County District Attorney Brian Wright.
Gable's grandfather did commend the judge for giving a stiffer home detention penalty than the 90 days recommended by the state, but he still calls the punishment a slap on the wrist.
“She basically can do everything she did before, except drive,” Jerry Carpenter said. “If people say there's closure, no, there's no closure whatsoever.”
Carpenter says he's in the process of petitioning lawmakers. He hopes they'll propose raising the driving age to 18.
“It will be an uphill fight and I will never give up until it's changed,” he said. “The juvenile justice system absolutely is broken.”
The district attorney disagrees, saying it's a good system. He just hopes nobody ignores the take-away message about hill-jumping
“This is something that not only will get you into a great deal of trouble, but can lead to death,” Wright said.
After the hearing, the girl's attorney told WEAU 13 News that the judge was certainly within his range of authority with his ruling, and that he does not view the punishment as just a slap on the wrist.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - At a disposition hearing Thursday, an Eau Claire County judge handed down punishment for a teenager who handed over the keys to an underage driver, who, in turn crashed a car, killing three teens and injuring two others.
The tragedy on Walnut Road happened in December, 2011 in the Town of Washington.
The teen, who we cannot identify in this story, was the only person of legal driving age at the time.
Thursday, a judge yanked the girl's license for a year.
The judge also handed down nine months home detention.
As for the accident itself, back in January, an accident reconstruction specialist said the car was going 80-90 miles per hour while hill jumping.
The teens did this at least four times.
The accident reconstruction specialist said the car went 177 feet through the air and dropped more than 19 feet from the top of the hill.