Father describes difficulty in losing daughter after house party
Updated On: Oct 10 2012 08:45:27 PM EDT
The last few months have been a living nightmare for the the parents of a 19-year-old Hollee Krueger, who was killed walking home from a party at a Middleburg house where she was served alcohol.
Hollee Krueger (pictured below), who had just completed her first year at the University of North Florida, was hit by a car and killed June 3. Authorities say she was walking drunk down Alligator Boulevard at 4:45 a.m.
A week after her funeral, the her family's Middleburg home was destroyed by Tropical Storm Debby.
"June 26, we got flooded out and it was all -- everybody said, 'Boy, how can y'all handle that?'" said James Fairchild, Krueger's father. "And I said, 'That's nothing. That's just stuff. Losing my daughter, it's just life changing, your world stops.'"
Investigators said Krueger was walking from a party at a house on Myrtle Loop, where she'd joined of-age friends to play beer pong.
"A fatality was directly linked to that house party, so we are investigating, investigated those allegations, and we've made these five arrests," Sandi Poreda, director of communications for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, said in a phone interview. "We think that the issue of providing alcohol to minors at open house parties is very serious, and the adults who provide alcohol to minors at open house parties will be held responsible."
This week, investigators arrested six people they say contributed to Krueger's death in some way.
Nineteen-year-old Zachery Manning, who was driving the car that hit Krueger, was arrested on charges of leaving the scene of an accident involving death and driving without a license.
Five others -- Amber Campbell, 20; Jacob Hicks, 20; James Rosier, 21; Austin Petitt, 21; and Eric Gibson, 22 -- are facing charges in connection with hosting an open house party and/or serving alcohol to minors, second-degree misdemeanors. They face up to 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines.
"I'll never meet my daughter's husband, I'll never see my daughter's children, we'll never celebrate another birthday or Christmas with her, and, hey, if $500 would bring her back, I'd pay it to everyone I came across," Fairchild said.
The Fairchilds say their grief will never fade, they just hope this tragedy serves as a wake-up call for other teens.
"That it's all fun and games until somebody gets a headstone, and then it's too late, so wise up now. Learn from the mistakes of others," Fairchild said.
Fairchild said revenge isn't what he's looking for, but he wishes there were tougher laws and consequences for people who serve alcohol to those underage, especially if it results in a death.
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