Glastonbury Teen Was Drunk At Time Of Fatal Crash, Police Say

Jane Modlesky died in the early morning hours of July 14 after crashing a vehicle into a tree on Woodhaven Road in Glastonbury. (PATRICK RAYCRAFT)

GLASTONBURY — A 17-year-old Glastonbury girl who died when the Honda Pilot she was driving hit several trees last summer had a blood-alcohol level of 0.27 percent — far above the legal limit — and the friends who allegedly let her get behind the wheel are facing criminal charges.

Jane Modlesky, a lacrosse star at Glastonbury High School, crashed in the early morning hours of July 14 after drinking during a gathering at a friend's house, police said.

Three juvenile boys were arrested Thursday in connection with the case, according to a release from Glastonbury police. Their names were not released.

Two of them were charged with reckless endangerment for allowing Modlesky to drive drunk, police said.

"It was determined they were well aware that she was highly intoxicated, and they allowed her to leave," said Glastonbury Police Agent James A. Kennedy.

Police say Modlesky was at a gathering in Glastonbury when two of the teenage boys said they needed to get home.

"Two of the juveniles had snuck out of the house and had to get home because they didn't want to get in trouble with their parents," Kennedy said.

Four juvenile males went with Modlesky in the 2008 Honda Pilot, which they borrowed from the parents of the girl hosting the party, police said.

Modlesky didn't drive initially. One of the boys, who was 16 at the time, got behind the wheel and dropped off one of the other boys, who was not charged with any crime. The driver then continued to his house and got out, the release states.

At that point, another of the boys, also 16 at the time, got behind the wheel. He drove to his house, where he got out of the vehicle with the fourth boy, who was 17 at the time.

"Well aware that Jane Modlesky was highly intoxicated," the release states, they allowed Modlesky to drive away.

Police believe Modlesky was heading back to the friend's home when she crashed. She went down Woodhaven Road a half-mile from the boy's residence, went off the road and struck several oak trees.

Her friends grew worried when she didn't return and sent text messages to the boys she had left the party with. The text messages say Modlesky was extremely intoxicated, Kennedy said.

In addition to text messages, investigators determined through social media and interviews that Modlesky had been drinking.

Her blood-alcohol level was 0.27 percent, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent for adults and 13 times the legal limit of 0.02 percent for drivers under 21.

The juvenile who last drove the Honda before Modlesky got behind the wheel faces charges of second-degree reckless endangerment, violation of passenger restrictions and operating a motor vehicle between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The boy who got out of the vehicle with him faces one charge of second-degree reckless endangerment.

The boy who was driving earlier faces charges of violating passenger restrictions and operating a motor vehicle between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The girl who allegedly hosted the gathering that Modlesky attended was charged in August with two counts of allowing minors to possess alcohol.

Police said the 17-year-old had hosted two parties in the nights prior to the accident where minors were consuming alcoholic beverages. Police said the property owners were not home for the parties.

Town council Chairman Stewart "Chip" Beckett III said town officials were "very cognizant" of what happened over the summer, and there has been an ongoing discussion among council and board of education members and parents.

"People are frustrated as to what we should do," he said. "Unfortunately, teens are going to do things they shouldn't. We can't supervise them 24 hours a day. But as a community we have to try and do something to ensure their safety."

Beckett said the community has been rocked by tragedies over the years, including a 2002 two-car accident when a drunken 17-year-old and his two 17-year-old passengers were killed under a Route 2 underpass along with a 38-year-old father of three.

Beckett said parents, especially those who host parties or give teens alcohol, along with teens, need to take responsibility for their actions.

"I think in this case, someone needed to step up and say, 'You are in no condition to drive.' Someone has to think that's the better thing to do and say, 'You are in no shape to drive.' Kids have to look after their friends," Beckett said. "It's not only a Glastonbury problem or a Greater Hartford problem. It's a Connecticut teen problem. We all have to think of what we can do. It takes a village, but it takes the whole village to figure this out."