STEVENSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) ―A vibrant, promising young woman died in a terrifying crash on Maryland’s eastern shore.
Mike Hellgren reports that those with Courtney Spurry that night say she was out of control and sped off in a truck, hitting two utility polls. The impact threw her body 90 feet as her mother watched.
Heartbroken friends and family blame it on a cheap and potent mix of alcohol and caffeine called Four Loko. One can is the equivalent of four caffeinated sodas and four-five cans of beer. They say Courtney drank two of them.
“She changed that night. She was not the same person. She could not remember people’s names,” said Abby Sherwood, friend of Spurry.
Four Loko is perfectly legal for now. Though, 17 states are working to ban it. Maryland is leading the way.
Attorney General Doug Gansler tells WJZ he’s already gotten competitors to take their products off the shelves.
“I think it’s inherently dangerous to children, and that’s to whom they’re marketing,”Gansler said. “It’s a price point that’s easily accessible to children. What really happens is the caffeine would die off, and all of a sudden, you have a kid stone drunk behind the wheel of a car.”
Lawmakers nationwide have had harsh words for Four Loko. And the FDA is also investigating whether to stop the sale of it and other “alcopop” drinks.
“Only if you look extremely carefully in this one particular place do you see there’s 12 percent alcohol in this can,” Gansler said.
Also known as “blackout in a can” and “liquid cocaine,” Four Loko is popular readily available according to Maryland college students.
“I got pretty tipsy off of it and I only drank a little bit,” said one female student.
“I blacked out,’ said another male student .”I don’t remember much of the night.”
The manufacturer says, “while we don’t agree with the notion that mixing caffeine and alcohol is inherently unsafe, we do agree with the goal of keeping adults of legal age who choose to drink responsibly as safe and as informed as possible.”
They say they’ll cooperate in any investigation.
“The problem is people like Courtney die, and it’s horrible,” Gansler said.”She died and other people will die if they stay on the market.”
Those close to Courtney Spurry are making it her legacy to save those lives to know that she didn’t die in vain.
In Pennsylvania on Friday, Saint Joseph University confirmed several of its students were rushed to the hospital after drinking Four Loko.