Parents Charged After Teen's Post-Party DWI Death

He had attended wedding, tried to drive home drunk
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2015 1:29 PM CDT
Party Hosts Charged After Teen's DWI Death

It's not unusual for a fatal DWI crash to result in a trial, but this one has nothing to do with the driver. A couple in Raleigh is charged after an 18-year-old left a party at their home and slammed his car into a tree, reports WRAL. Jonathan Taylor was killed, and Dr. Charles Matthews and his wife, Kim, are charged with allowing Taylor and other underage teens to drink during a wedding reception at their home. Attorneys for the Matthewses say the teens bought liquor before the party—their own son pleaded guilty to buying a fifth of Jack Daniel's—but prosecutors say the teens also indulged at the home. "We were just trying to get as much as we could," one girl testified, per ABC News. "No one was kind of limiting us."

The Raleigh News & Observer has details on the texts that Taylor shared with parents that day. In one, his mother told him to call if he needed a ride, and he texted at 10:16pm, “Can y’all pick me up." His dad, a state trooper, set out to get him, but Taylor inexplicably left before he arrived, over the protests of Kim Matthews. “I really need to hear from you," his worried dad texted at 11:31. "Call or text immediately.” He picked up his wife at one point, and as they were driving around looking for their son, they came upon emergency responders at the accident scene. Taylor, whose BAC was more than twice the legal limit, hit the tree going about 90mph seven miles from the Matthews home. (In New York, a bachelorette party ended in tragedy, even with a hired limo.)

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