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TODAY   |  December 18, 2013

Two teens in court after fatal drunk driving crash

Two teenagers are charged with reckless endangerment after a fatal crash that killed one of their friends, who was driving home drunk. Prosecutors say the teens, who were the last people in the car with the driver, should not have let her get behind the wheel.

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>> will be in court today to face charges stemming from a deadly drunk driving crash even though they weren't actually in the car at the time of the accident.

>> here's nbc's ron mott.

>> reporter: a car full of teens, booze and what became a game of musical chairs, several taking the wheel, turned into a deadly combination. jane who never made it to her 18th birthday last friday is at the center of an unusual legal case . she was driving alone drunk when the car she borrowed plowed into a tree outside of hartford, connecticut killing her. she was a passenger along with four other teenage boys. the first boy dropped one passenger off and drove himself home. another boy took over from there and drove to his house. that left her alone to drive herself home. she managed to steer clear of trouble for about a half mile before losing control and her life. her blood alcohol level was.27. more than 13 times the legal limit for drivers under 21. the last two friends in the car with her are facing criminal charges including reckless endangerment.

>> through text messages and interviews we were able to determine that they well knew she was intoxicated and shouldn't have been driving.

>> reporter: but some experts say prosecutors may have a tough time winning convictions if the case even goes to trial.

>> you see somebody affirmatively doing something that's creating a risk of injury to somebody else or to a group of people. you don't see a situation in which somebody is not doing something.

>> reporter: the tragic results of drinking and driving . a case that questions who is designated with ultimate responsibility. nbc news boston.

>> that's going to create a lot of controversy.