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Star Athlete Kills Two in DUI

Posted on Thursday, April 17th, 2014    

He was a star athlete excelling in baseball and basketball. He was an honor student and a member of the National Honor Society, and he was addicted to painkillers. Now he is a convicted felon and in recovery for a narcotics addiction. How does someone move from a promising future to life behind bars?

In 2011, the young man was driving a car when he crossed the center line and crashed head first into an SUV, killing the couple inside. The young man survived, but was flown to a nearby medical facility with several broken bones and a spinal cord injury. The story that led up to this tragedy is one that should give all parents pause, as it illustrates how easy it is for “good kids” to become the victims of drug addiction.

A Simple Accident Leads to Tragedy

In 2010, this promising young man was dining in a restaurant and needed to use the bathroom. As he entered the restroom, he was struck in the head by the door opening as another person exited. The young man fell to the floor and hit his head again; everything went black as he lost consciousness.

What seems like a simple accident was the beginning of a tragic change in this young man’s life that eventually led him to addiction. Immediately following the head bump incident, he was taken to the ER where the doctor prescribed Oxycodone, a narcotic painkiller. Following that, the young man’s personality changed. He suffered from insomnia, migraines and cognitive impairment.

These symptoms should have told his doctors that he had a traumatic brain injury or TBI. The solution for the doctors, instead, was to prescribe Vicoden and Percocet.

The family, unaware of the young man’s addiction, sent him off to college where he almost flunked out. The family brought him home. The young man was now out of prescriptions for the painkillers and turned to illegal means to feed his addiction. Then the accident happened and his guilt deepened his need for the painkillers. A deep, dark depression hung over him. Had one more important event occurred, it is very possible he would have taken his own life.

In 2012, the young man took his parents’ car without their permission. As a last resort, the parents called the police and reported the car stolen. Ironically, this turned out to be the young man’s saving grace. The judge gave him probation and he sought treatment for his addiction. Finding a facility that could deal with all the young man was going through was difficult, but he pressed on and eventually found where he belonged.

Unfortunately, this young man’s story is not unique. There are many young people who are driving while drinking or taking narcotics as they attempt to self-medicate. If you have been arrested for DUI, contact Amerio Law Firm in Sacramento today for more information on how to address your charges.

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