Nineteen-year-old Carter Womick may have to spend the next 16 years in jail for a decision he made on the night he graduated from Salem High School.
Today, he pleaded guilty to driving drunk, nearly killing his passenger, 16-year-old Meghan Gerety last June.
Last summer, he left his graduation party with Gerety.
The two went to get cigarettes and slammed into a tree on their way back to his Salem Woods home.
The impact was so strong that Gerety was thrown from one side of the car to the other.
Court documents show that Womick was driving 54 miles per hour in a 25 miles per hour residential area.
It also says Womick’s friends, who were still at the party, heard the crash.
They called Womick’s phone, but he didn’t answer.
When he finally picked up, Womick told them he hit a tree.
Documents say they asked about Gerety and Womick told them she was sleeping in the car. They found her passed out, bleeding from her head.
It says they left the scene and it took Womick almost 10 minutes after the crash to call for help.
The noise woke up an off-duty Beach Police Officer who also called 911.
He told prosecutors Womick smelled like alcohol. He was slurring his words and could barely stand on two feet.
Prosecutors say Womick had a .08 blood alcohol level.
Gerety had severe injuries to her head and needed emergency surgery.
Her family’s blog site says she went through weeks of rehab but has slowly come around to her old self. It even says she has rejoined her Salem High Cheer Squad.