Thursday, June 5, 2008

pieces uncovered, pieces in place..........

The investigation into the Greystone crash that claimed 5 young men's lives is still continuing and more has been revealed. On Wednesday, June 4 2008, the FHP released an 88 page report in relation to the accident.

They noted that the BMW was traveling at 120 mph when it hit the trees at the end of the 7,550 foot runway. Their conclusion was that Ammirato was traveling well in excess of that speed before he hit the brakes and left 219 feet of skid marks on the runway and grass before going airborne 166 feet to impact with the stand of trees. A car traveling 155 mph will travel the length of football field in almost the blink of an eye and even at 120 mph, it took less that two seconds from the time Ammirato hit the brakes until the car hit the tree.

The report goes on to state that they believe that Ammirato, unfamiliar with the runway, basically overdrove his headlights at that speed. They also state that tests showed that only one passenger, Natalie Thayer's boyfriend, Isaac Rubin, 20, had alcohol in their system. He had a blood alcohol content of 0.103 and the legal limit is 0.08. The FHP is confident that Ammirato had not drank that night but they did add that the other young men could have drank earlier in the evening.

Other points that are noted in their report is their confidence that there was no second car at the runway that night, even though there had been reports that there was. They stated that they based that on a lack of any evidence found proving there was a second vehicle. Their investigation also found that some of the young adults at an earlier party had decided to move their group to the party to Jumbolair. About 15 people gathered at the pool house there to drink and play cards and the FHP found that they had all been given the gate code to get to the pool house. The investigation found though, that all but the five young men left around 3 am and they also noted that they have a video shot by a surveillance camera of the BMW racing down the runway. That video shows only headlights racing by and ends before the car began braking and crashed.

Two arrests have also been made in connection with the crash that night. On Tuesday, Jolane McAlister, 43, was charged with six misdemeanors in connection with providing alcohol to underage drinkers, most between the ages of 16 and 20, at two January keg parties. One of those parties was held hours before the crash and when that party wound down, the 15 moved to the pool house to continue.

The report details the alleged keg party which was held at her Tara Stables farm in the Cherokee River subdivision. Numerous witness reports state that McAlister was seen several times at the party before at least three kegs ran dry by 12:30 am, approximately three hours before the crash. One witness, Christopher C Whitehurst stated that he arrived at the keg party to find about 300 kids and 4-5 kegs of beer there and Colin Brennan's mom ( McAlister), handing out plastic cups.

The second arrest came late day on Wednesday, when Natalie Thayer, 20, was arrested and charged with providing false statements to law enforcement. Natalie had told the FHP that she was asleep in the hours leading up to the January crash but the investigators had found out differently. Natalie had held the after keg party gathering at her family's Jumbolair Aviation Estates pool house and then lied about her whereabouts.

Several witnesses reported that Thayer was at the pool house, which is near her apartment at Jumbolair, which her parents, Jeremy and Terri Thayer own, in the hours before the crash. It is believed that Thayer was the one who gave the access code to the gate to the pool house partiers. Thayer had told authorities through her lawyer, that she would turn herself in on Tuesday but she didn't and by Wednesday morning, she was considered a fugitive. She did finally show up by noon on Wednesday and was booked on the misdemeanor charge that is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. She left jail about two hours later, escorted by her lawyer, Bill Ramputi and a private investigator, Jamie Sheppard. She covered her face when she left and stated, finally, that she had no comment.

Assistant State Attorney Rick Ridgway stated that it is possible that there will be more arrests, but he wouldn't say whether they are definate. He did add that the mostly likely person, if anyone, to have been charged with direct criminal responsibility for it, would be the driver who died along with his four friends.

While both of the women charged may not have directly involved with the crash, what they did shouldn't be viewed as "nothing" either. McAlister is alleged to have allowed more than a few teens to share a couple six-packs at her house, the witness reports state that there were kegs of beer and several hundred underage drinkers on her property

Thayer did more than lie to the police about being asleep during those hours, she allegedly gave out the code so that the young people, including the five who died later, could enter the gated community. To add to her record of telling the truth, it seems that she still has difficulty with it........ first telling the police when she would turn herself in on Tuesday and then, not sticking to that truth. I do believe that there will be more pieces of the crash puzzle to be revealed in the future, but we may never know why Ammirato chose to race down that runway with four of his friends in the car.

For earlier posts, go here and here.

photos are of Thayer leaving jail and McAlister's booking photo.

1 comment:

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