Teen's social media post raises questions after deaths

Published: Apr. 28, 2016 at 7:01 PM EDT|Updated: May. 8, 2016 at 7:15 PM EDT
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HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - On what would have been Elliot Hinton's 23rd birthday, friends took to Twitter to celebrate his life.

Hinton and 17-year-old Dylan Ballard died Saturday night after the vehicle they were riding in slammed head on into a tree on Cold Harbor Road in Hanover.

However it is other posts uncovered on social media that have raised questions.

The driver of the truck, who along with three others survived the wreck, tweeted "let's get drunk" the day of the crash.

NBC12 is choosing not to identify the driver because he has not been charged with a crime. Legal analyst Steve Benjamin says the post should be weighed carefully.

"A tweet that says 'let's get drunk' in all caps is an indication of what he was thinking of doing. Nothing more, nothing less. Obviously now it's a regrettable statement, given the tragedy that followed," said Benjamin.

Court documents detail how deputies say they could smell alcohol on the driver, who they found behind the wheel, when they responded to the crash.

Deputies also found a large number of beer cans in vehicle, and one survivor allegedly told deputies all the passengers had been drinking and smoking marijuana, according to court documents.

The Hanover County Sheriff's office say the investigation into this crash is still underway. Court documents show investigators are looking at this as a possible involuntary manslaughter case, but no charges have been filed.

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