Man, two others charged in fatal August car crash

Andrew Buhrmeister

October 4, 2010 9:20:14 PM PDT
Authorities have charged three people in connection with a August crash that killed the driver and seriously injured the passenger.

They say they gave alcohol to the driver, who was too young to drink.

The crash happened just outside the Raleigh city limits around 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 20.

According to the Highway Patrol, 20-year-old Max Bratton of Holly Springs, was traveling on Tryon Road when he lost control of his vehicle and slammed into two brick columns and fence before crashing into a house. Bratton died at the scene.

His passenger, 19-year-old Ethan Herring, was rushed to WakeMed and in critical condition.

Troopers say both men were wearing seatbelt, and no one inside the home was injured.

It was later revealed by an ALE agent that Bratton allegedly drank alcohol at a party before the wreck.

Authorities charged 23-year-old Andrew Buhrmeister of Holly Spring with two counts of aiding and abetting an underage person and giving alcohol to an underage person.

They also charged 46-year-old Mary McCoy, who they believe purchased beer for the party, which was hosted by her 18-year-old daughter, Chelsea Smith.

Bratton's father says he is hoping the charges are the first step toward justice.

"To find out at this point that adults were involved, it's just shocking," Bratton said. "These young people don't always have the judgment to make the decisions of when it's ok to drink."

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