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Jury: Driver's death an accident, teens' homicides

Jury: Driver's death an accident, teens' homicides

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PEKIN - A Tazewell County coroner's jury ruled Thursday that the death of a driver of a car crash was an accident, but his two passengers' deaths were homicides, WEEK-TV reported.

Jacob Barding, Jeremy Watson and John Stadsholt, all 18, died June 18 when their car veered off Tower Line Road and caught fire near Tremont. Testimony at the inquest indicated the teens died from injuries suffered in the accident.

It also showed the driver, Barding, was driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.022, and cocaine and marijuana was found in his system. Illinois has a zero-tolerance law for anyone under 21 who drinks and drives, Barding is considered to be driving illegally even though his blood alcohol level did not exceed 0.08.

Investigators say Barding, of Manito, and Stadsholt, of Green Valley, used a computer cleaner to inhale the drugs, a technique known as "dusting," moments before the crash. Watson, of Topeka, had a blood alcohol level of 0.09.

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