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Bartender and Underage Patrons Charged After Serious Crash in Highlands, North Carolina on October 20, 2023

Published Date: October 26, 2023

Note: Our firm’s mission is to help people injured in accidents. Because we do this work, we see the consequences of these accidents on the victims and the families. Through these articles, we aim to foster a safer community and provide support to those affected by such tragedies. 

Our firm respects the privacy and dignity of those involved and is willing to amend or remove content at the request of affected parties. To contact us use 704-714-1450 or send us a message.
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Highlands, NC (October 20, 2023) - Local news outlets report that a serious single-vehicle accident resulted in injuries to four individuals after an alleged incident involving underage drinking. The incident has led to charges against both the bartender and the young patrons involved.

Details of the Crash and Investigation

On the evening of Thursday, October 20, 2023, a severe single-vehicle collision transpired in the Highlands area, leading to four casualties. Of the victims, three were transported to nearby medical facilities, while the fourth faced more severe injuries and had to be airlifted for advanced treatment. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety confirmed that Highlands Police quickly involved the state's Alcohol Law Enforcement division (ALE) upon surveying the scene.

Charges Leveled Against Involved Parties

As the ALE embarked on their investigation, they ascertained that the underage driver, identified as 19-year-old Steijn Pieter Drijver of Highlands, had allegedly bought several alcoholic beverages from the local establishment, 4118 Kitchen and Bar, located at 64 Highlands Plaza, shortly before the unfortunate event. The bartender on duty, 41-year-old Ryan Patrick Henry of Cashiers, faced charges for his alleged failure to ascertain the age of the young individual. Consequently, ALE agents cited Henry for selling alcohol to a person below 21 and for permitting violations at an ABC-licensed entity.

Steijn Pieter Drijver, the driver, faced several charges. ALE charged him with purchasing and consuming alcohol while underage. Additionally, the Highlands Police added charges of driving under the influence, two counts of felony serious injury by vehicle, and reckless driving. Another young individual, 20-year-old Rasheem Tyshane McKenzie of Highlands, also faced charges of purchasing and consuming alcohol while underage.

Repercussions for the Business

Given the gravity of the situation and the charges faced by their employee, 4118 Kitchen and Bar could face severe consequences. ALE is set to provide violation reports to the ABC Commission, detailing the investigative findings. Depending on these reports, the ABC Commission may impose sanctions, ranging from fines to revoking the establishment's ABC permits.

Authorities' Statements

In the aftermath of the incident, Highlands Police Chief Andrea Holland emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts among law enforcement agencies. She was quoted saying, “It is paramount that law enforcement agencies maintain cohesive relationships with other agencies. ALE was instrumental in gathering additional information which helped complete the timeline leading up to the accident. We would like to thank ALE for joining our quest to keep Highlands safe.”

Continuing Investigation

Details surrounding the accident and the events leading up to it continue to emerge as the investigation progresses. Residents are encouraged to stay updated for further developments.


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Disclaimer: This article is compiled from various secondary sources to provide insights into recent accidents. We have not been able to independently verify all details. Our firm respects the privacy and dignity of those involved and is willing to amend or remove content at the request of affected parties. We understand the emotional and physical toll of traffic accidents and extend our deepest sympathies to those affected. If you find any discrepancies or outdated information, or if you are an affected party, please contact us at 704-714-1450 or send us a message.

We value your feedback and are committed to maintaining the highest standards of accuracy and reliability of the information presented.

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