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16-Year-Old From Southport Killed In Block Island DUI Crash

West Side Road in Block Island is located in the area shown in red.
West Side Road in Block Island is located in the area shown in red. Photo Credit: Google Maps

A Fairfield County teenager died after an allegedly drunk underage driver crashed on Block Island, police said.

Rhode Island State Police said that 16-year-old Southport resident Jackson (Jake) Panus was killed on West Side Road in New Shoreham after his allegedly drunk female driver crashed at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9.

According to police, a second minor was airlifted from the scene to a hospital in Rhode Island with serious injuries. The driver, whose name was not released, is currently being held at the Rhode Island Training School following her arrest for alleged impaired driving.

The girl was charged with:

  • Driving under the influence of liquor or drugs, resulting in death;
  • Driving under the influence of liquor or drugs, resulting in serious bodily injury;
  • Driving so as to endanger, resulting in death;
  • Driving so as to endanger, resulting in serious bodily injury.

Panus was a junior at Fairfield Ludlow High School, where he played football and lacrosse.

“With a heavy heart, we offer our sympathy and prayers to the family and friends of Fairfield Ludlowe High school junior Jake (Jackson) Panus, who passed away on Sunday as a result of a car accident,” Fairfield-Ludlow Headmaster Greg Hatzis said in a statement.

“Jake was a good student, a good friend to many, and a good teammate to the football and lacrosse teams he played on.”

The crash remains under investigation. 

The driver is being held and is scheduled to appear in Family Court on Tuesday, Aug. 11.

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