An 18-year-old senior at Moorestown High School was charged with drunken driving and reckless driving yesterday after he lost control of a Volvo and crashed into a tree, killing another senior from the school.
Police said Daniel Friedmann was behind the wheel of the 1997 Volvo on Garwood Road when it flew off the street at 12:15 a.m., rolled over, and struck a tree, fatally crushing rear-seat passenger Evan M. Welch, 18.
Friedmann was treated for minor injuries and released from Virtua Hospital in Burlington County.
A third Moorestown High senior, a 17-year-old boy, was taken to Cooper Hospital-University Medical Center in Camden with "non-life-threatening" injuries, police said. Police declined to identify him, saying only that the teen was a front-seat passenger. The hospital also said it would not provide any information, because the injured person was under 18.
The crash site, about a mile from the high school, was littered with beer cans. Investigators found between six and 10 empty cans, as well as 25 to 30 unopened cans, and the boxes for two 30-pack cases of beer, police said.
Police Sgt. Randolph S. Pugh said he and other investigators were working to account for all the cans from the two cases, to determine who drank them and when.
Investigators also want to know "where the alcohol came from," Pugh said. He said police didn't yet know where the three teens had been before the crash.
Police said that Friedmann was driving the four-door sedan on Garwood Road, toward Westfield Road, when the car went off the road, traveled 100 feet, rolled onto its side and struck the tree. It ended up in a ditch on its roof.
All three teens were apparently wearing seat beats; none were thrown from the car.
The Burlington County Medical Examiner's Office pronounced Welch dead at the scene. A woman at his home declined to comment later yesterday.
Police declined to disclose Friedmann's blood-alcohol level, saying it was department policy not to disclose such figures. No one responded to a message left at the Friedmanns' home.
Moorestown police, as well as the township Fire Department and emergency squad responded to the crash, one-quarter mile north of Westfield Road.
Pugh said Welch's death was the first such auto fatality he could recall of a Moorestown High student in many years.
He said police had contacted school officials to alert them to the death. High school principal Andrew Seibel could not be reached for comment.