Mother Of Teen Killed After Vomiting & Falling From Car Says Four Loko Made Her Son Sick

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.

  • george

    Tragic. This child could be anyone’s son or a daughter.

  • greg

    Thats some final destination stuff there.

  • J

    Very tragic. Hover, I don’t know why it’s so important to note about Four Loko here. Any alcoholic beverage would make a 13 year-old sick to their stomach.

    • Prime

      There is a lot of misinformation about Four Loko being an energy drink. In 2010, the company reformulated it to remove all of the energy drink components (caffeine, taurine, and guarana). The 8th grader was drinking nothing more than yet another malt beverage.

      Here’s a thought, how about the parents take some blame, like 90% of it. They are responsible for the actions of their child.


        Please don’t go there!!!! Do you have children? Even with the best of guidance, children will ” Hear and do not Listen; Listen and do not Obey” Even with “Signs (Dangerous) and Proofs (Death)”

  • suzie

    The boy’s stepfather should be charged with numerous charges,those kids should’nt been drinking anyway,he had to know something was’nt right if the kid’s not feeling well things could happen an aqauintenance one thing that’s suppose to be family.That should be checked into further anyway,the other kids that gave them the alcohol and the kids relationship with his mothers (lover,husband ,stepfather )whatever he was.


      Say What!! “UNBELIEVABLE”

    • Gina

      The stepfather was not the one who gave him the the drink, so he why would you think he should be charged. He picked Michael up to take him home, Michael then opened the car door while it was moving to throw up. It was a tragic accident! You are placing the blame where it does not belong. Do you have teenagers? Because I do and I can tell you no matter how hard you are on them , or how closely you watch them they are going to do things that they shouldnt. They are kids. Its not right what happened but the person who purchused the 4loco should be punished. The parents are going to punish themselves enough.

      • just me

        Amen Gina………….raising teens comes with it’s own challenge…..we can raise them the best we know how…………..I feel so sad for this family – god bless them

  • suzie

    True,true,the kid was sick we know that,but the father making the kid or kids lockup and wear seatbelts should of said,either way.He had even more ppl’s safety to be responsible for.
    I’m glad I’m not in his shoes.

  • Jessi

    Are you kidding me right now?!? This kid was 13 years old, ANY alcoholic beverage could have done this to him. This drink is supposed to taste good and make you drunk if you are of age, if the alcohol content is reduced in four loko, it would just cause madness, and it won’t matter in the end because there are a ton of different liquors that are extremely strong. Maryland is pathetic.

  • suzie

    I could’nt think of everything I wanted to say,I wanted to read more.All of them should feel remorse about this,but alot of ppl confuse with’quilt’ which usually involves some mixed emotions, one of them being,’fear’of criminal prosecution,so their regret and compassion,sympathy for whoever loved him.Those kids should’nt of been drinking anyway esp; at that age.Whoever gave them the alcohol should be charged too, with reckless indangerment,contributing to the delinquatecy of a minor-on several accounts because there was more then one kid who was given alcohol.That content is stronger too ,then your avg drink,kids die all the time from alcohol poisoning,that’s strong;even Budice’and some of those other drinks ar’ent that strong,they are 2.5,like two and half beers each.
    Kids are stupid ,why they always think they are invinsible, they r not they cant handle alcohol better then adults can ,that comes from years of social,light,casual drinkiing;not all at one time esp; stuff that strong.Bottom line kids get drunk quicker they are not used to it ,anybody who is not used to it can suddenly die from it.Ppl giving it to them or anything to harm them should be charged ,made an example of.

    • Richard

      Suzie, what is your grade level please? Your grammar sucks!

    • Bar Owner

      Suzie, Take time to educate yourself – the alcohol content of a typical beer is around 4-5% by volume. You are correct that 4-Loko has a higher alcohol content than beer but your statement that 2.5% alcohol is the equivalent of 2.5 beers is just plain wrong. Drinking a single 23.5 oz. 4-Loko with an alcohol content of 8-12% would be similar to drinking 4-6 12 oz. cans of domestic beer. The real problem I have with 4-Loko is that it is flavored like fruit juices which makes it appeal to young kids. Both underage drinkers and those who can legally consume alcohol tend to slug these drinks down much faster than they would a beer or a mixed drink. Combined with the stimulants in 4-Loko, a person does not realize how much alcohol they are consuming. When it comes to a 13 year old kid who (hopefully) isn’t accustomed to drinking, it is particularly dangerous.

      • john

        What exactly are you trying to argue here? Yes, 4loko is marketed to a younger demo of adults who are of LEGAL AGE to purchase, not to underage kids. If you are legal and you drink it, its up to you to drink responsibly.

    • Scott

      Suzie, the logical minds will agree with you, but remember, you’re reading an article from a liberal news organization that is bent on bringing a product down. This is what liberal news organizations do. It’s pretty overwhelming that they would do a story and try to paint the beverage maker as the problem and not the fact that a 13 year old kid was this drunk.

  • chris

    you people are complete morons. most of you can’t spell or use proper grammar. fred – your comment makes no sense. why is it unfair that you live? with commenters like this, it’s no wonder that baltimore is such a disaster of a city.

    • Kurt

      Chris, I think that most of the respondents on here are teens. The article leaves many questions to be answered. It’s terrible that this has happened. What 13 year old sticks his head out of a moving car to throw up?

      • meeeeee

        There are plenty that drink and puke. If you don’t realize what’s really happening on the streets and elsewhere then you are brain dead. The kids know what’s going on. Being 21 means you’re legally allowed to do what you’ve been doing since at least 16. Sad but true. Plenty of 21 yr olds like partying with minors because most of them are relatively close to their own peer group. No one is smart enough to realize this because everyone’s child is a perfect angel and they know better than to drink or try something that was refused to them… my father gave me a taste of beer when I was young and it made me sick… granted it was skunked beer but parents have to display they are smarter not use their intelligence as a bartering chip…

    • jt

      Wow, it is pretty ironic that you scorn someone for not using proper grammar yet you seem incapable of proper capitalization. Also, how can you possibly be so dense as to believe a few people on a comments section of a news site would represent an entire city…moron…

      • chris

        defending morons makes you a moron. congratulations.

    • Deirdra

      Can everyone just stop this. Mike wouldnt like this. I knew him. He went to my school. Everyone is upset enough about it.

  • Bob

    Very tragic indeed. I do think we need to look for the person(s) who gave it to him to get justice and not the makers of a drink to get a payday. I think we as a society need to be responsible for our own actions and not blame the outcome of our stupid decisions on the manufacturer of the products involved.

    • Jeffrey Harrison

      I concur

  • T-dizzle

    The point of this story should be the effects of underage drinking….not the alcohol content in Four Loco.

    • Kurt

      Good point. Instead the media is going to villify Four Loco just for simply being the manufacturer.

  • Come on guys...

    4-Loko’s don’t have any caffeine in them. Please get your facts straight!

    • Bar Owner

      The Facts: 4-Loko’s four main ingredients are: CAFFEINE, taurine, guarana, and alcohol. Great idea there – combine alcohol, a depressant, with 3 stimulants. Add to that the fact that 4-Loko contains 8-12% alcohol by volume which is significantly more than the typical beer which is around 2.5% ABV, then package it in a can that is almost double the size of a standard beer and top it all off by flavoring it to taste like kid’s fruit juices. So if this 13-year old drank one can of 4-Loko, he would have consumed as much alcohol as 8 beers. And I’m willing to bet it was consumed much faster than it would take to drink 8 beers. Who do you really think this company is targeting? Certainly not the responsible drinker. This is why many states have or are working on banning the sale of this type of drink.

      • Kurt

        By the way, “Bar Owner” right! If you’re a bar owner then I’m the Governor of Maryland.

      • Kurt

        Yeah, because we need a governmental nanny-state to protect us from ourselves. I realize that parents cannot be everywhere to keep their kids safe but where were they and did they know their children had access to alcohol. It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out who supplied the alcohol. Chalk this up to either negligent parenting or just simply an unfortunate accident.

    • EJ McAndrew

      You are correct they have removed the caffeine however the extremely sweet and heavily flavored drink has major effects on the brain.

      Also the 12% alcohol content and large 24 oz. can equal 6-12oz. beers with an alcohol content of 4% (such as Bud, Miller etc.)

      • meeeeee

        It’s just like the standard 1 12oz beer = 1 6 oz glass of wine = 1 1oz shot. We used to call those deuce deuces back in the day. Boones Farm and other fruity malt liquors have been around for a while. This boils down to the fact that kids think its cool to be goofy and loopy. Nothing more. And unfortunately the cost of being goofy and loopy is to not be on point where some would do things they normally wouldn’t do. The driver should have stopped immediately once the door opened point blank.

  • ken


  • Parkville resident

    Dumb kids doing dumb things, then dumb people trying to put the blame somewhere else. Its not the drinks fault or the car who hit him.. Under age drinking, no seat belts, opening the car door of a moving vehicle, he did it to himself and there is no one else to blame. He is old enough to know what he was doing when he drank. I don’t care what people think. 13 yr olds are not stupid and know right from wrong.

    • Kurt

      Thanks for leaving one of the better comments on this post. Holding the drink manufacturer responsible would be like holding a gun manufacturer responsible for a murder.

  • Jenn

    May this Child Rest In Peace and I send my condolences to his family.

    I do not beleive the Beverage should be to Blame for the death of this child as It clearly is for Adults over the age of 21 .. In the State Maryland No one can purchase this drink unless you are of age, So clearly this child did not purchase this Someone over the age of 21 did and that person should be held responsible for this tragedy.
    I do not feel the company is anyway responsible for this, I could see if this was just a energy drink and anyone could purchase it, But it is not.

    Again I will keep the family of this little boy in my prayers and may this child Rest In peace.

    • Kurt

      True Jenn and to add to your comment, this drink is not illegal. It is a legal beverage for those of age.

  • Ernie


    ” What 13 year old sticks his head out of a moving car to throw up?”

    The smart ones. Others open the door and fall out onto the road.

    And to others. . . Four-Loko no longer has any stimulants in it. It has not since Dec. 2010. And even if it did. It would in no way be the beverages fault for this tragic thing that happened.

    WJZ should get it straight and point the blame where it belongs. Underage drinking is the problem. Not what this kid drank too much of.

  • Parent

    This needs to be a teaching event. Kids @13 should not be drinking and doing drugs. The kid also smoked pot. If was high and drunk it would of greatly compounded the situation. Dont blame the company. Where was the supervision?

  • Four Loko Salesman

    I am a salesman who works for the distributor that supplies Four Loko to stores, and I can promise you, there was no caffeine in that drink, nor should it be the blame for the child’s sickness. Over the summer of 2011, sales of all Four Loko with alcohol was immediately halted, and retailers were strongly encouraged to pull the caffeinated Four Loko from their shelves. In fact, Baltimore City, Howard, and Carroll counties were all barred from selling the drink all together. The Four Loko that is sold today is without caffeine, and is not in any way, shape, or form designed to attract an underage consumer. The target market is 21-35 year old drinkers, nothing more. So it’s fruity, big deal. If it tasted like beer, would we have a different story? Perhaps.
    Regardless, it’s not sold to minors, and it’s the responsibility of the retailer to not sell it to minors, as well as the resposibility of adults buying it for minors. Still, it’s inevitable, it’s going to happen. It happened when we were kids, it’ll happen when our kids are old enough to buy for someone. The only difference is that when we were kids, adults bought us Budweiser. Now, they buy different drinks like Four Loko and the like. But still, the product should not be the blame here, and I hate that the local media focuses on the product instead of the issue. Consider this – what would WJZ have to blame, if in fact this child was killed due to drinking Coors Light and getting sick, rather than Four Loko? They’d be on a witchhunt for the person who purchased the product for the kid, rather than focusing on the beer. Not in this case. I call that hypocritical reporting…

    • Four Loko Salesman

      My mistake, it was the summer of 2010 that sales of Four Loko with caffeine were halted. Typo…

  • BJ

    Bottom line, though I don’t care much for these particular drinks being available, is that the responsibility for a 13 year olds well being lies with his/her parent. At 13 my parents would never have let me out to run around town with friends and potentially end up drinking unbeknownst to them. And this parent would have a son now if she had been more in touch with her sons activities. Sorry, it’s time to stop laying the blame for everything that goes wrong on’s time for us all to step up and take some personal responsibility.

  • sigh...

    sounds like someone is taking advantage of a tragic accident to hop on the bandwagon and bash a controversial beverage. oops…you’re about a year too late. as everyone’s been saying, there is no longer caffeine in four lokos. get your facts straight, man.

  • Angela

    Why was the CHILD out so late and drinking? Such a tragedy for the child, family and friends. Honestly speaking though, blaming an adult beverage drink is pointless and irresponsible. Many decisions by the parents leading up to this may be questionable. Accidents do happen but pointing the finger in this case is nonsense. Educate and protect your children as long as you are able.

  • lexi

    I am a 13 year old as well, and didn’t know Michael as well as my “facebook friends” did. There was so many comment and post about him. I felt sorry. I have dreams, and plans for when I grow up. He didn’t even get old enough to learn how to drive, or live on his own, get a career, or experience life after childhood.

    The parents should be devastated, because of their loss. The mother said it was sad but looked like she didn’t care too much about her child! Especially if she let him go to parties like this one. Honestly, I don’t think it was because of the consumption of the beverage, because he went to throw up. If he would have just thrown up, he would probably be fine, but he wasn’t, and he didn’t. He fell. Obviously backwards.

    And we do and did learn about the effects of alcohol consumption. From what I hear on my facebook, he was a nice guy. Probably smart. Just because he drank the beverage didn’t mean he didn’t know there was alcohol in it, maybe he did. But if he didn’t, I would say that he should have examined the can before gulping it down.

    Like I say to my mom, all the time, “times have changed” and sometimes I like the change, and sometimes I don’t. In this generation, kids have more freedom. I like this because we can actually go to our friends’ houses a lot more than kids in earlier generations. But, this generation, kids can sometimes be stupid, such as smoking weed or consuming alcohol, and again, maybe he didn’t see the labeling on the can.

  • Paula

    I am a mother of one of Michael’s very good friends. Michael was a great kid and a great friend to so many. He was loved by all. This is the worst thing that could happen in this situation. We as parents can’t be everywhere our children are at all times. We can do our best and teach them right from wrong but think back to when you were a teenager, you think you are invinsible. Everyone pointing the finger at bad parenting, or drink companies, come on….this could have happened to anyone. What we need to do now is try and console thousands of students at Parkville for yet another tragic accident. This is the third teenager that was hit in this area within 2 months, second that has died. I pray for Michael’s family and hope they don’t even read some of the awful things people write out there. I understand everyone has their own opinion but imagine if this was your son or your child’s friend at 13. 13 year olds shouldn’t have to deal with this. To the comment that said why was he out so late partying, it was 6pm….how is that late? I understand he shouldn’t have been drinking or at a party, but don’t criticize a family and blame them either. They need time to grieve as well as all the kids whom loved him dearly. Let’s remember the good things and the good times everyone had with Michael and hope the others learn from this tragedy.

  • fact man

    she’s really upset because she lost part of he independence card money when he died

  • meg

    how about we don’t point blame and just come together as a community at a time for such a tragic loss. it doesn’t matter the he said she said whose fault. he’s gone, and the people who love him are hurt. pointing blame is not going to bring him back. show a little respect.

  • just askin"

    The problem is that mom is trying to blame the beverage, when the fault lies elsewhere. If mom had done her job, the kid would not have made the decision to drink. I completely reject the notion that the kid didn’t know it was alcohol. The kid should have known better, and probably did, but made a bad choice in drinking, and a bad choice in opening the door of a moving car. If we must cast blame, the kid made bad choices, and his death is his own fault.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Track Weather On The Go With Our App!

Listen Live