Crash Investigation Leads To Deeper Look Into Teen Drinking

It has been just under a month since Omaha Police say a teen driver was speeding on 192nd Street near Pacific and lost control. The seventeen year old's vehicle crossed the median, sheared off a wooden power pole and a pine tree. Elkhorn junior George Gervase died at the scene around 6:45 in the morning. 

Investigators have since uncovered a trail of evidence that suggests Gervase may be a casualty of a larger problem. In a report, they noticed a strong odor of alcohol and followed up wondering where the teen may have gotten it.

The trail led them to Elkhorn High School where security footage showed two vehicles pull alongside each other in an empty parking lot, just seven hours before the fatal crash. The video showed a dark sedan matching the victim's vehicle and a white pickup.

Investigators talked with one of the teens who was there. She said the teens in the truck had a guy at a gas station who sold them alcohol and, in turn, the teens would sell the alcohol to other students.

Chris Wagner with Project Extra Mile tells 6 News, "These source investigations are so important." Wagner knows access to alcohol for young people comes from social circles, at least that's the answer given by students on school surveys.

Nebraska state law states someone who provides alcohol to a minor who then is injured or killed can be charged with a felony. "It's a good deterrent to have out there, but it's only effective if it's used." says Wagner.

The toxicology report isn't back yet from this deadly crash, but in the meantime Omaha Police have been zeroing in on any text messages or social media posts among the teens selling and buying alcohol and following the evidence. Now they're wondering how many other alcohol deals took place after hours in the school parking lot or somewhere else.

Investigators have revealed they know who the gas station employee is allegedly selling alcohol to the high school students and are building a thorough case to present to the county attorney before formally charging anyone.

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