Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mascoutah Mom Charged with Providing Booze before Fatal Crash (Copy)

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mascoutah Mom Charged with Providing Booze before Fatal Crash (Copy)

Article excerpt

ST. CLAIR COUNTY * A Mascoutah woman is facing a felony charge as well as prosecutors' claims that she provided alcohol to her son, causing his fatal car crash near Belleville in January.

The St. Clair County State's Attorney's office on Wednesday charged Ginger G. Zehner-Denton, 39, with unlawful delivery of alcohol.

Charging documents accused her of buying a six-pack of Bud Light and a pint of Evan Williams whiskey within a 24-hour period before the crash and giving them to her son, Stephen E. Zehner, 18. His death occurred "as a result," the documents claim.

The Belleville West High senior was driving a maroon 2002 Oldsmobile south on Park Road and flipped over while making a left turn onto State Street road about 2:15 a.m. on Jan. 26, authorities said at the time.

Both Zehner and his passenger, Megan E. Webb, 15, of Belleville, were ejected. Zehner was pronounced dead at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Webb was taken to St. Louis Children's Hospital in critical condition.

No lawyer is listed for Zehner-Denton in court records. She could not be reached for comment.

Ted Zehner said his ex-wife had attempted suicide in recent years. They divorced in 2002. He had custody of Stephen.

"He could see her whenever he wanted to, but he didn't," said Ted Zehner, 44. "She didn't have no job, no house, no nothing. She was living place to place, from guy to guy."

He said she would buy their son booze "to see him."

But he held back from blaming her. He said his son shouldn't have been drinking and driving. And if his mother wouldn't have bought him alcohol, he said, his son would have gotten it somewhere else.

"I didn't want charges to be filed against anybody because his mother is going through the death of her son, and I am going through the death of a son," he said. …

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