LILBURN — A Lilburn teen and his parents are facing criminal charges of various severity after the single-car crash that claimed the life of 17-year-old Paul Anderson-Strickland.
Santiago Rivas-Garcia and Maria Elena Rodriguez-Martinez, both 38, were arrested Wednesday and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and permitting a minor to drive. Rodriguez-Martinez has since been released on $1,300 bond; Rivas-Garcia is being held for immigration officials.
Their 16-year-old son has been charged with felony vehicular homicide, speeding, racing and reckless driving.
According to Gwinnett County police, the Lilburn couple allowed their son — who has only a learner’s permit — to drive a 2002 Ford Explorer early Sunday morning. At about 5 a.m., that Explorer, which was also carrying three teenage passengers and the driver’s 12-year-old brother, was moving down Beaver Ruin Road in Norcross when the driver lost control and smashed into the median near Global Court.
The car rolled several times and Anderson-Strickland, a student at Meadowcreek High School, was ejected. He later died at Gwinnett Medical Center.
“All other passengers received visible injuries and were transported to various hospitals,” an incident report stated.
Incident reports made no mention of drugs or alcohol being factors.
Rivas-Garcia and Rodriguez-Martinez are accused of “knowingly and willfully aid(ing) a minor in committing a delinquent act” by allowing their son to drive and break curfew. According to a police report, the couple let their son drive “because he had a job.”
A learner’s permit requires a licensed driver over 21 years old to ride along.
Memorial services will be held for Anderson-Strickland at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Lilburn chapel of Bill Head Funeral Home. According to the teen’s obituary, he was a “charismatic and energetic young man” who loved dancing, music, fashion and his friends.
“He often spoke of dreams to become a famous computer graphic designer so he could make his own videos one day,” the obituary said.