Teen charged in fiery crash that killed woman in home

December 19, 2019 GMT

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — A teenager accused of crashing a car into a house while drunk has been charged in the death of an 87-year-old Decatur woman.

A Macon County coroner’s jury ruled Wednesday that Mary Hinton’s death inside her home was caused by the actions of 17-year-old Micaiah Barton, who got his driver’s license just a day before, the Herald & Review reported.

Barton is charged with aggravated DUI causing death. He pleaded not guilty.

Decatur police Officer K.C. Kohn said Barton’s SUV landed inside the house on Nov. 22, severing a gas line and sparking a fire. Hinton died from inhaling toxic fumes.

“We believe she probably woke up on impact or maybe when the gas ignited,” Kohn said. “She was trying to make it out and, either due to smoke or just not being sure what was going on, she didn’t make it out.”

Kohn said Barton had earlier dropped off his girlfriend because she was scared of his drinking.