A young teenager died Saturday, February 18 in a Maryland car accident, apparently after drinking a can of an alcohol-infused energy drink. Michael Truluck, aged 13, had been drinking a controversial beverage called Four Loko shortly before the accident occurred in Baltimore County.
Four Loko was initially branded as an energy drink. However, the drink also contains alcohol. The company had received a lot of criticism for combining caffeine and alcohol in one beverage.
Four Loko has since been relabeled as an alcoholic beverage and is now illegal in several states, including Maryland. Baltimore County officials also banned the original form of the drink.
Ben Diggins, a friend who was with Truluck at the time of the accident, said that he, Truluck and another friend had indulged in the alcoholic drink earlier in the evening.
Truluck was riding home in the front passenger seat of a vehicle when he started feeling sick. As the vehicle turned onto busy Harford Road out of the parking lot for Auto Zone in Parkville, the young teenager opened his door to vomit.
According to Baltimore County police who responded to the scene of the accident, Truluck fell out of the vehicle and was immediately hit by a Ford Explorer that was passing by at the same time.
Truluck was taken to Franklin Square Hospital, where he later died. He was an eighth grader at Parkville Middle School.
About 100 teens showed up at a vigil the next day to honor his memory. Truluck’s mother, Kristina Keys, spoke to the crowd about the dangers of underage drinking.
An adult in Truluck’s neighborhood apparently had bought the beverage that Truluck and his two friends were drinking. The drink has been blamed for other deaths worldwide, and the company has since introduced a caffeine-free version of the drink.
Police do not expect to file any charges against the other driver who hit Truluck, although the accident is still under investigation.
Nickelsporn and Lundin offer their sympathies to Michael Truluck’s family and friends during this tragic time.