A dispute between teens ended in tragedy last weekend, when one high school senior punched another—who never got up after falling to the ground. Victim Jarom Thomas, 18, was with friends at a cabin on Lake Roesiger, Wash., on Saturday night when, witnesses say, Thomas accidentally backed into a car the suspect, another 18-year-old whom KING5 is not naming, was sitting in. After an argument, Thomas agreed to let the suspect hit him to settle things, KING5 reports. They shook hands and smoked a cigarette together first, but after the suspect hit Thomas, Thomas fell backward and hit his head on the pavement. The unconscious teen later died at a hospital, and the suspect was arrested and faces possible manslaughter charges, the Seattle Times reports.
"I spoke to my son and he told me I didn't want this to happen, I didn't mean for this to happen," says the suspect's father, Michael Galen, adding that his son has no criminal history. "My son is not a bad boy. He's not a bad kid," Galen adds. "Don't drink please, because things like this can [happen]. When you don't expect it. You don't mean to. Please don't drink." Witnesses reported hearing a "cracking noise" when Thomas' head hit the pavement, and a friend took him to the hospital after others at the party carried him inside but couldn't wake him up. The two teens are said to have known each other for years. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner has declared Thomas' death a homicide, ruling blunt force injuries to the head as the cause of death, KING5 reports.