Father of teens in deadly DUI crash urges parents to talk to their kids about alcohol

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A parent whose sons were in a crash in North Port that killed a teen and left several others hurt is urging parents to have a serious talk with their teens about the consequences of drinking and driving.

The frightening call from his sons the morning of the crash was a wake-up call he wants to share with others. And Kevin McLelland knows, as a parent, it’s hard to get through to kids.

“My main message to the kids out there is to listen to your parents,” McLelland told FOX 13’s Natalia Verdina.

Last Saturday, he woke up to a devastating call from his two sons, ages 19 and 20. They were involved in a deadly wreck in a rural area.

Police say 13 teens were riding inside, and on top of, an SUV at 2:30 in the morning. The vehicle was driven by 19-year-old Stephanie Evrard, who was drunk. 

At one point the SUV flipped over and a 17-year-old girl was killed. McLelland’s sons and one other survived with minor injuries.

“At this point, I think it’s opened up my children’s eyes,” he said.

He wants other young people to heed this warning: “Think before you do something stupid.”

And, no matter how complicated a situation may get, help is just a call away.

“It’s OK to call a parent. I mean, they care for you,” he continued.

McLelland hopes parents get this message too, and talk to their kids repeatedly about the dangers of drinking and driving.

In this case, one life was lost and two are now facing serious legal consequences. According to police, 22-year-old Damien Chanfrante bought the alcohol for the underage group -- Budweiser and spiked iced tea.

Chanfrante faces eight counts of supplying alcohol to minors and the Evrard faces charges of DUI manslaughter and DUI with injury.