Teen remains in critical condition as DUI suspect faces judge

LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — A passenger accused of causing a serious crash in Lincoln faced felony charges in court Friday while a 16-year-old victim remains in critical condition at the hospital.

According to police, Luke Peters, 22, and the driver, John Willette Jr., 21, had plans to go to Twin River Casino just after midnight Thursday, but were turned away because the two girls with them were too young.

Moments later, they were involved in a crash that has put the two men in serious trouble.

Police said Willette and Peters got into an argument while driving on Route 146 North when Peters suddenly yanked the wheel, causing the car to spin out and roll over.

“It traveled for approximately 300 feet, striking several small trees, before it consequently rolled over onto its roof onto the on-ramp,” said Rhode Island State Police Lt. John Allen.

The two girls, both 16 years old, were in the backseat during the crash. Police said one was unconscious when emergency crews arrived on scene, and she was rushed to Hasbro Children’s Hospital with serious injuries.

Police said the two men consented to blood-alcohol tests at Rhode Island Hospital, the results of which are pending.

“One of the passengers made statements that they were drinking alcohol while they were driving around, and there were signs of alcohol inside the vehicle at the time of the accident,” Lt. Allen added.

Peters appeared before a judge Friday morning on charges of DUI, first offense; assault with a dangerous weapon; and procuring alcohol for a minor. His bail was set at $10,000.

Willete, still wearing clothes from the hospital and bandages on his head and hands, stood before a judge Thursday afternoon facing felony charges of DUI and procuring alcohol for a minor. His bail was also set at $10,000.

No one inside the car was wearing a seat belt.

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