DEERFIELD, Ill. – A couple have been charged with allowing their son to have an underage drinking party in their home, after which two teenage partygoers were killed in a car crash.
Jeffrey Hutsell, 53, and Sara Hutsell, 52, were charged with five misdemeanors, including endangering the health of a child and attempting to obstruct justice, police said Tuesday. Both were freed on $5,000 bail after turning themselves in Friday.
Officials allege the Hutsells allowed their teenage son to have a party in their basement where beer and rum were served. Two 18-year-olds who authorities say attended the party, Daniel Bell and Ross Trace, were later killed in a car crash not far from the Hutsells' home.
Bell, who was driving, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.132 percent, according to autopsy results. The legal limit for drivers older than 21 is 0.08. Toxicology reports also show Trace had marijuana in his system.
Prosecutors allege that the Hutsells knew what the teenagers were doing.
"The defendants were home, aware of the gathering, failed to control the party, failed to control access to their home (and) failed to control children's access to alcohol," said Assistant State's Attorney Dan Shanes. "Alcohol was freely and readily available to all the kids who were there, at least a couple dozen who came in and out."
There was no immediate response Wednesday to messages seeking comment that were left at numbers listed for the Hutsell in Deerfield.