Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glynn Teen Goes on Trial in Fatal Crash; 2 Say They Found Him in Driver's Seat

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glynn Teen Goes on Trial in Fatal Crash; 2 Say They Found Him in Driver's Seat

Article excerpt

Byline: Teresa Stepzinski, Times-Union staff writer

BRUNSWICK -- Robert Michael Torras was in the driver's seat, frantically trying to free himself as his close friend lay motionless across the passenger seat, testified two men who were the first to reach the twisted wreckage of a Volvo sedan that crashed last year on St. Simons Island.

Henry Ream III, 18, of St. Simons Island, died after the single-car accident about 10:15 p.m. March 13, 2002, at Lawrence and Frederica roads.

Torras, also 18, of St. Simons Island, was injured in the crash but recovered and went on trial yesterday facing vehicular homicide and related charges in Ream's death.

Jurors heard testimony from a passing motorist and a neighborhood resident who arrived separately at the crash scene almost immediately after the 1997 Volvo that belonged to Ream's father veered off the roadway and slammed into a tree.

Ream's father, Henry Ream II, also testified about how he stumbled upon the fatal wreck while en route home that night.

A Glynn County grand jury last year indicted Torras on four counts of felony first-degree homicide by vehicle. Vehicular homicide is punishable by three to 15 years in prison.

The indictment charges Torras with vehicular homicide four different ways ranging from driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana to speeding.

However, by law he can be sentenced on only one of the vehicular homicide counts, not all of them, court officials have said.

Torras also was indicted on single counts of misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration and reckless driving.

Each of those charges is punishable by up to 12 months in prison.

Torras is a senior at Glynn Academy. He has been allowed by court authorities to remain in school while awaiting trial, as long as his father or grandfather drives him to and from class.

Charles Butt, a U.S. Secret Service agent assigned as an instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, testified he went to investigate after his wife heard a "loud crash" from the intersection about 100 yards from their home. …

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