NORTH PORT, FL (WWSB) - A 22-year-old man is accused of supplying alcohol to teens last weekend before a fatal SUV rollover crash in North Port that claimed the life of a 17-year-old girl.
Damien Chanfrante of Punta Gorda was arrested Wednesday and charged with eight counts of supplying alcohol to minors. He’s currently being held in the Sarasota County Jail.
“If you are going to purchase alcohol for people who are underage and they get hurt or if we find out about it through the course of an investigation, you’re going to pay the consequences and that’s what happened here," Joshua Taylor, spokesman for the North Port Police Department said.
Investigators say Chanfrante provided alcohol to some of the teens who were involved in a rollover crash Saturday around 2:30am at Joewood Circle and Genip Court in North Port. Police say 19-year-old Stephanie G. Evrard was intoxicated and driving an SUV with 13 people inside and on top of it when failed to negotiate a curve, crashing. Only two of the people involved in the crash were of legal drinking age.
“Unfortunately in this particular case it appears we had 13 people piled in and on an SUV driving with some people partially hanging out the window," Taylor said. “Completely avoidable, completely sad... you have young people with their whole lives ahead of them, you have one life cut short and now you have all these other people that are impacted.”
A 17-year-old junior at North Port High School was killed. She was a member of the drama club and the school canceled all drama performances over the weekend. Three others were injured, including a 19-year-old man, 17-year-old girl and a 13-year-old.
Evrard is charged with one count of DUI Manslaughter and three counts of DUI with Personal injury.
Students struggling with grief or other issues can speak to a counselor anonymously by texting “HERE4U” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 and the service is available to all students in Sarasota County 24/7.
Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to call 941-429-7300 or submit tips through the NPPD tip app.