High school senior attended underage drinking party before death
‘It’s a Parent’s Worst Nightmare,’ Says Father of Teen Killed in Crash
By Deb Belt – Rockville Patch (See original story)
Alexander Murk should be on his way to Penn State today.
Instead, his parents are making funeral plans and his Wootton High School classmates are in mourning.
Murk, 18, of Potomac and Calvin Jia-Xing Li, 18, of Rockville died Thursday night after they and two other friends attended an underage drinking party, according to Montgomery County Police. Neither teen was wearing a seat belt.
“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. I pulled into driveway with two officers who told me my son was dead,” Alexander Murk’s father said at a vigil for the teens Sunday at the crash scene.
The foursome’s car left the road, struck a tree and flipped over in North Potomac. Police said they are investigating whether speed, alcohol use and a lack of seatbelt use were factors in the deadly crash.
Authorities say Samuel Joseph Ellis, 18, of North Potomac was the driver. Ellis – the school’s quarterback — was taken to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The front seat passenger has not been identified by police, but was treated and released from the hospital.
Principal Michael Doran told the students who attended the vigil they were welcome to come to Wootton High School Monday for support. The school is open to students and families from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help the community begin to cope with the tragedy.
Doran said in a note on the school’s website that counseling staff, grief counselors, and other personnel will be available to students Monday. The school has also posted information about talking to children about death and alcohol use.
“I love you all,” Doran told the assembled teens, reports Montgomery Community Media.
Montgomery County Police Capt. Thomas Didone said at a news conference that cold beer in plastic cups was found inside the car. The investigation into the party continues, and police issued citations at that scene, although Didone would not specify what tickets were issued or how many.
He said when police arrived at the party house the gathering had already broken up. An adult was at the home were the party took place but Didone would not disclose whether an adult was at the house home during the party.
“These tragedies will continue until we stop enabling underage drinking,” Didone told reporters. “It starts with what are your kids doing at night … being actively involved as parents, having those courageous conversations … with your kids so they come home safe. Good kids make bad decisions.”
Didone said the area is monitored by speed cameras, but they are turned off at night and on weekends.
The elder Murk urged the students to learn from the mistake that cost his son his life.
“You have one life, you are young in high school and you think it is the world,” he said. “You’re invincible and Alex was the same way and I don’t have my son.”