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PARKVILLE, Md. (WJZ)– A 13-year-old Parkville boy is dead and his mother says those controversial drinks loaded with alcohol are partly to blame.
Andrea Fujii has more on the drink that led to tragic accident along Harford Road.
One of those drinks made a 13-year-old so sick, he opened the door of a moving car so he could vomit. He fell out of that car and was struck by oncoming traffic.
“It just doesn’t seem real that he’s not here,” Kris Keys, the victim’s mother, said.
Kris Keys says she now knows the story behind the accident that killed her 13-year-old son Michael Truluck.
“He drank one of the energy drinks with alcohol in it that all of these kids seem to think are OK,” Keys said.
Chances are you’ve heard of Four Loko– a favorite among underage drinkers. It’s fruit-flavored and has the equivalent of several beers worth of alcohol. It was enough to make Truluck sick to his stomach.
And as his stepfather gave Truluck and two of his friends a ride home Saturday night, Truluck opened the door to the moving car so he could vomit, and fell out onto the busy Harford Road.
His friend Ben Diggins was in the car and saw it all.
“We stopped as fast as possible and we just tried to help him out. And he tried to get up and a car just hit him, ran him over,” Diggins explained.
Truluck was an eighth-grader at Parkville Middle School where friends say he was extremely popular.
“He was like my best friend,” a student at Parkville Middle School said.
“I got a call and right when they said he got hit. I started crying and I sprinted all the way down here,” Truluck’s friend Michael Morales said.
Dozens of teenagers created a makeshift memorial to Truluck near the accident scene. By nightfall Sunday, hundreds came out for a candlelight vigil. Many had no idea he had been drinking Four Loko.
“It’s not safe and some adult out there purchased it,” Keys said.
She says she hopes other parents and teens learn from her son’s death.
“And I’ve lost the only son I’m ever going to have because they wanted to party. And it’s sad, it’s just really sad. And I don’t want to have to see another family go through this,” she said.
Grief counselors are expected to be on hand at Parkville Middle School this week to help Truluck’s friends and teachers as they cope with their grief.
Maryland’s Attorney General Doug Gansler is among those pushing to limit the alcohol content of Four Loko drinks.
UPDATE: Four Loko officials says that the beverage is not and should not be considered an energy drink because all caffeine was removed from the recipe in 2010.