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OTTAWA HILLS, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Three days after a crash involving drinking and driving took the life of an Ottawa Hills student, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is still investigating. Charges could be filed based on the what they find.
Lt. William Bowers with OSHP says what he saw early Saturday morning on Edgehill was a chilling reminder of how bad decisions can change a family forever.
"A young man, he hasn't had a chance to live his life yet, and there he is, he's passed away as a result of drinking and driving," said Bowers.
Troopers say 18-year-old Brian Hoefflinger had been drinking and got behind the wheel. They say his car caught on fire after he crashed into a tree following a night of drinking.
Bowers says he sees several fatal accidents fueled by drinking, and each victim, including Hoefflinger, takes a piece of his heart with them.
"It makes me worry, you know? My family is out there. Your family's out there driving, and we have alcohol-related fatals on a regular basis," said Bowers.
Troopers say Hoefflinger had a blood alcohol content of .15, which is nearly twice the legal allowance for an adult. Although underaged drinking in the state of Ohio is illegal, the law states anything .02 and above is considered over the limit for anyone under 21.
On Tuesday, the Ohio investigative unit is busy trying to find out how he got so far above the limit, and who helped him get there.
"We'll trace his steps back from the crash, see where he acquired the alcohol, rather it was an establishment or a private residence. Then we'll go from there and there could be charges pending from that," explained Bowers.
Investigators are interviewing friends of Hoefflinger, as well as combing through cell phone records to gather more information. If they pin point who provided the alcohol, he or she could face charges of supplying a minor with alcohol.