Underage Drinking Concerns Follow Teen's Drowning

Underage Drinking Concerns Follow Teen's Drowning
By: CJ Cassidy

Ste. Genevieve County, MO -P
reliminary autopsy results now show foul play was not a factor in 17
-
year
-
old
W
ade
L
urk's death.

You'll
remember
,
the teen disappeared in the early morning hours of
April 1st, after
attending an underage drinking party on the shores of
G
oose
C
reek
L
ake.

P
olice found
L
urk's body inside his car in the lake yesterday.

N
ow as folks in the area mourn his loss
,
others hope the tragedy serves as a wake-up call to teens.

"I

t's just
really
heartbreaking
," PJ Kertz says. The 18-year-old
often hung out with
L
urk
,
and says the grim reality that his buddy's gone hasn't set in quite yet.

W
hat has hit home for
K
ertz
:
just how dangerous underage drinking can be.

"If y

ou're at a party
, and
there's forty kids underage drinking there's no control
," he says.

I
nvestigators say
L
urk was last seen crawling into his car after
the
party
in the wee hours of the morning on A
pril
1st.

T
hey now believe he tried driving home at some point
,
took a wrong turn and ended up in
G
oose
C
reek
L
ake.

"W

e do know
W
ade was drinking
. It's kind of
tough to talk
about right now because we
just
found
W
ade
.

H

is family's suffering right now
,
they're a good family
, a
strong family
, and
good parents.
T
hey want everyone to know too this could have played a part in it
," Cpl. Al Nothum with the Missouri Highway Patrol says.

"T

his is an extremely hard lesson to learn
," P
rincipal
S
ara
M
enard
points out.

Menard

brought in counselors to help students at
V
alle
H
igh
S
chool where
W
ade was a
S
enior.

M
enard now hopes to bring in highway patrol instructors to educate teens on the dangers of drinking.

"T

een
ager
s
are
like adults
, despite
what
they
know in
their
head
, what they act out in their heart maybe
two different things
," Menard says.

P.J. K
ertz agrees.
A
fter all he's a teen himself.

"Y

ou're not going to be able to stop the underage drinking and partying so next best thing is to make it safer.
You can do that with
chaperone
s. At
that party
there were
no parents there
. Most
parties
I
go to
have
parents there
, and
nothing like this has happened.
That's
not to say it wouldn't
,
but
the
odds are better someone's not going to drive off drunk
," Kertz says.

I
nvestigators are still waiting on toxicology results.

Vi
sitation has been set for Wednesday at 2 p.m.
at
S
te.
G
enevieve
C
atholic
C
hurch.
A
funeral mass will be held
T
hursday at the same church starting at 10 a.m.

I
t will be open to the public.

N
ow that they know what happened to
W
ade, his parents say they can begin to finally mourn the loss of their son.