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Family of N. Potomac crash victim releases statement | News

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Family of N. Potomac crash victim releases statement

NORTH POTOMAC, Md. (WUSA9) -- The family of one of two 18-year-old Wootton High School graduates killed in a car crash after a party released a statement Monday expressing shock about the news a parent was present for the party, and a desire to make sure the laws change.

The statement by David and Pamela Murk comes days after a WUSA9 report into the investigation into the crash that killed their son Alex Murk and fellow Wootton graduate Calvin Li on June 25. The two were killed after the car they were traveling in flew into a fence, hit a tree and landed in a yard.

The report on the fatal accident

According to documents obtained by WUSA9, the driver of the car, Sam Ellis, was traveling at least more than 30 miles above the speed limit and has a blood alcohol content of .09 two hours after the crash.

"Needless to say, this has been a lot -- almost too much -- for us to absorb. The details into what happened that night re-opens fresh wounds and our family is absolutely devastated," David and Pamela Murk said in the statement.

Sources: Parent was at party that led to fatal N. Potomac crash

The two also expressed disgust at the circumstances at the party, specifically the knowledge that a parent was present at the party. According to sources, Kenneth Saltzman knew about the party his daughter was hosting, and at one point jokingly asked a partygoer if one of the 30-packs of beer they brought was for him.

Salzman is expected to be charged with adult responsibility, but the Murks believe punishment associated with that charge is too little.

"What is even more shocking is the fact that under Maryland law, a first offense for behavior such as Mr. Saltzman's carries no jail time, but merely a maximum fine of $2500," the Murks said in the statement. "$2500 for something that results in the death of two young men."

Read the full statement from David and Pamela Murk.

The two also call for a change to the laws, specifically the potential punishments that can be held against drivers.

"Slaps on the wrist, or short jail sentences, will NOT deter other teenagers from acting as grossly irresponsibly as Sam Ellis did that night," the Murks said in the statement.

"It goes without saying, we were extremely disappointed that so many family and friends of Alex and Calvin within our community who had knowledge of what took place that evening, were unwilling to come forward without subpoenas and a Grand Jury proceeding," the Murks said in the statement.

Police are expected to bring charges against Ellis and Saltzman in October.

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