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Adults charged with providing alcohol before fatal crash

Posted October 4, 2010
Updated October 5, 2010

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— Two adults were charged with providing alcohol for underage drinking at a party that led to a fatal wreck on Aug. 20.

North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement agents charged Mary McCoy, 46, of 5705 Waycross Street in Raleigh, and Andrew Ryan Buhrmeister, 23, of 708 Guadeloupe Court in Holly Springs, with providing the alcohol at a party hosted by McCoy’s 18-year-old daughter.

A 20-year-old man who attended the party died and his passenger was critically injured when they crashed into a house on Tryon Road in Raleigh after leaving the party.

ALE Special Agent Mike McKeithan said Max Bratton, of 4812 Tannen Hill Trail in Holly Springs, was allegedly consuming alcoholic beverages during a party at the home of Chelsea Rae Smith, 18, at 2101 Versatile Road, Apt. 105 in Raleigh on Aug. 20.

He left the party with Ethan Herring, 19, of 5632 Turner Glen Drive in Raleigh, and was driving about 60 to 65 mph in a 45-mph zone on wet roads when his BMW M5M hit a fence, went airborne and smashed into a house at 1911 Tryon Road, troopers who responded to the wreck said.

Bratton died at the scene. Herring spent weeks in the hospital. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.22, authorities said.

"That is a drug, and that is destroying our youth," Herring's father, Glynn, said Monday. "So many parties, and so many this and that, and it is so accessible and it shouldn't be."

Father regrets son's night of drinking Father regrets son's night of drinking

Herring said it is only by the grace of God that his son survived. "It has been terrible for our family, because we almost lost our youngest son."

Smith was charged with underage possession of alcohol, aiding and abetting an underage person in possessing malt beverages and purchasing liquor while under 21 years of age.

Glynn Herring declined to comment on the arrests because of possible litigation.


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  • yourcrazygirltaylor Oct 7, 2010

    Have we completely lost sight of the Max and Ethan and their families. Max was my best friend and it seems like all people are talking about is the mistakes he made. We are human and everyone make mistakes. Max was never known to drink and drive and nor was Ethan. What about what Ethan is going through or Max's family? As for the people being charged simply another mistake that im sure they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.I think everyone who has commented about how his parents gave him a fast car, or how many tickets he has gotten is outrageous. When are people going to learn that you only have one life. You all should be ashamed of the remarks that you are making. To all the adults that commented on this. Think about how many mistakes you made at the age of 20. Everyone makes mistakes its just a shame Max had to learn the way he did. I miss him everyday that goes by and i dont stop thinking of him. Praying for max & ethans families. miss and love you max!

  • chowchowmom Oct 6, 2010

    Saw on WRAL tonight where the curve that Max wrecked on is known as Deadmans curve in Garner and they have had over 12 accidents there. Doesn't take away from the fact that he was driving under the influence or speeding but there have been many other incidences there.

  • soyousay Oct 6, 2010

    deu..blah blah blah

    charming. however, depending on who pays your car insurance, you or your parents...ever wonder why it is so high...and the answer is not a conspiracy of grownups to suppress your spirit...

  • CarolinaGirlRJA Oct 6, 2010

    "will thank you for the commission to officer, coming from you that is high praise indeed...and you make my for me"

    Blah blah blah

    "m..like you have to be retarded

    "like" uh huh...or perhaps to drive way over the speed limit on rain slick streets in an overpowered automobile...or a kid with alcohol on board. You are not exactly making a case for wise judgement in your age grouping"

    mba04 has a point in their statement before your response. If you actually read what they wrote they aren't talking about their age group -- just stating mere facts. This has nothing to do with how old the person was or what kind of car they were driving. They were just irresponsible to get drunk and then operate a moving vehicle. THAT WOULD APPLY TO ANYBODY WHO IS UNDERAGE OR OF LEGAL DRINKING AGE! Max just happened to be underage; and we are all well aware of that! Now get off it already, sheesh.

  • soyousay Oct 6, 2010

    m..like you have to be retarded

    "like" uh huh...or perhaps to drive way over the speed limit on rain slick streets in an overpowered automobile...or a kid with alcohol on board. You are not exactly making a case for wise judgement in your age grouping

  • mba04 Oct 6, 2010

    "let's see, myself and several others were speeding to work the other morning in the rain but didn't have a wreck..oh yeah we weren't DRUNK!"(cary1969)...
    oh i'm sorry, i forgot that the only way people can ever get in a car accident is if they are drunk...really? myself personally have been in 3 car accidents and no one involved had had a drop of alcohol in them. This particular spot Max crashed was right after a sharp curve in the road..and oh yeah, what was it- NINE other people have crashed into this exact house before? so they were drunk too?...like you have to be retarded to say the only way you can get in an accident is to be drunk cary1969...

  • soyousay Oct 6, 2010


    will thank you for the commission to officer, coming from you that is high praise indeed...and you make my for me

  • babybronx630 Oct 6, 2010

    Drinking and Driving is NEVER okay. Point blank period. Honestly drinking underage is not as big of a deal as you people are making it. Most of you people on here are being hypocrites. There is no real age difference between being 18 and 21, 19 and 21, and 20 and 21. Most of you even if it was only once drank underage while you were in college or at some point in time in your life. You’re not perfect. Max wasn’t perfect. Chelsea isn’t perfect. No one is. So stop judging these people like you know them because you don’t. Oh and one last thing none of the people involved in this tragedy were children. We’re adults. It’s America people, at age 18 you become an adult so stop referring to them as “children” because they’re not.

  • babybronx630 Oct 6, 2010

    child or a friend from getting into as little trouble as possible. Also the last line of the article does state Chelsea is being charged with purchasing liquor while under 21 which means somehow she got it herself. Max could have gotten it from anyone, he didn’t necessarily drink Chelsea’s alcohol, he could have had his own so unless you were there that night partying with them stop assuming things. And yes drinking and driving is wrong, but at any age including 21. If Max had been a couple of months older this wouldn’t even be an issue. At 21 you can drink and drive at a level of .08. You people are making such a big deal about him not being responsible and blah blah blah but if he was 21 and thought he was okay to drive, and his alcohol blood level had been at most a .08, like he did on the night he died it wouldn’t be anyone’s concern.

  • CarolinaGirlRJA Oct 6, 2010

    "deu.. why shouldn't you be able to enjoy a beer? In a responsible manner that is.

    being dead from a drunk driving accident and just about killing your passenger is not being responsible"

    WOW REALLY?! THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS! YOU'RE A GENIUS! That's my point. It can happen to anybody at any age. I'm saying if our youth was taught how to drink responsibly then stuff like that wouldn't happen. That applies to adults because people of age are just as irresponsible. I'm not saying it was right for that kid to go drinking. but even if he was he should've stayed where he was at or else had somebody sober come get him!