Drunk driver gets 14 years for crash that killed teen passenger

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PHOENIX -- The following is a press release from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office:

Family grieves for the son they lost

County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced today that Phoenix resident Frank Poston, 36 (DOB 6/13/72), has been sentenced to 14 years on a manslaughter charge that resulted from a September 2008 car crash that took the life of a male teenager riding in the back of Poston's pickup truck.

A second male teen riding in the back of the pickup survived the crash that took place following a fishing trip to Bartlett Lake. Poston's blood alcohol content from a blood draw taken four hours after the crash was .19. He pled guilty to Manslaughter, a class two dangerous felony, and Aggravated Assault, a class three felony, on February 12, 2009. The sentence was issued in Commissioner Steven Holding's courtroom on March 12, 2009.

According to a Scottsdale police probable cause statement, on September 19, 2008, at approximately 10:16 p.m., the defendant was driving a 1997 Nissan pick up truck westbound on Cave Creek Road in Scottsdale. Poston had gone with a group of teenagers to Bartlett Lake. The defendant had been drinking beer at the lake. On the way back, two victims were riding in the bed of the truck, while a third teen was riding in the front passenger seat. Several other teenagers in the group were following in another vehicle. They reported to police that Poston was driving well above the posted speed limit of 50 mph on a winding, rural road, and they were having trouble keeping up. Witnesses stated that the truck began to swerve before it went off the road. The vehicle tripped and rolled, ejecting both passengers riding in the bed of the truck. One of these victims, Poston's neighbor, was killed instantly. The other suffered serious injuries.

"The justice served by this prison sentence will not bring the teenage boy who died back to his family," said Thomas. "It will prevent this defendant from placing others in similar danger."

Poston received 14 years on the manslaughter charge and 4 years supervised probation on the aggravated assault charge.