The 17-year-old driver of the car that crashed early Tuesday in Hebron, claiming the life of Paige Houston, 17, was not permitted to have passengers in his truck or to be driving after midnight, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
Connor McKee of Wall Street in Hebron obtained his driver's license March 22, DMV spokesman Ernie Bertothy said.
McKee fell under the state law that prohibits new drivers from being on the road between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., Bertothy said. The crash was reported at 12:56 a.m. Tuesday.
He was also not permitted to have anyone else in the car with him, other than a licensed driving teacher or his parent or guardian. The laws were enacted to prevent crashes involving cars full of young people.
"Essentially, for the first year you can't have friends in the car who are under 20," Bertothy said.
State police continue to investigate the crash and will likely seek search warrants for McKee's blood and medical records, said Lt. J. Paul Vance. McKee was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for a broken arm and a head wound. No charges have been filed.
At a vigil Tuesday night to remember Houston, who would have been a RHAM High School senior, her mother urged the other young people present to spare their parents the pain she and her family are enduring.
"Call your parents. I'll give you my number, call me," Michele Houston told the group assembled at the high school. "Believe me, your parents can deal with being mad at you but they can't deal with this. I mean this from the bottom of my soul."
Teens and their parents cried as Michele Houston spoke. Her voice was hoarse after a day of crying.
Paige Houston was remembered Tuesday as an outgoing and friendly face at RHAM, where she was to start her senior year this month.
She died early Tuesday when the truck she was riding in went out of control on West Street and struck a large tree. She was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the truck.
She was at least the sixth teen killed in a vehicle crash in Greater Hartford since Memorial Day.
Houston was a member of the cheerleading squad, and team members described her as fun, hard-working and always at the center of attention in practices.
"We were going to be co-captains this year, so this is really hard," said Rachelle Levasseur, 16. "She was just such a beautiful person and always had a smile on her face."
Cheerleading coach Christina Glass said Houston led her teammates by example.
"She will be missed greatly by myself and our team. Her spot on the team will never be filled," Glass said.
Levasseur's boyfriend, McKee, was driving the truck.
Rising RHAM senior Sam Sylvia, 17, of Hebron, visited the scene of the crash Tuesday to pay his respects.
"She was thinking about going to Eastern [Connecticut State University], just like me. We were just talking about it last night," said Sylvia, a classmate of Houston's since middle school. "I remember seeing her in class, she was just an awesome girl. She was a loving person and so friendly. This just isn't the way she should have gone."
"It's every parent's worst nightmare," added his mother, Lauri Sylvia.