Death may increase DUI penalty
The death of a 25-year-old man from injuries suffered outside the Skinful Halloween party greatly alters the penalty the driver accused of hitting him could face.
Under state law, someone convicted of DUI that leads to great bodily harm could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. But if someone is convicted of DUI involving death, the range goes as high as 25 years.
Beau James Froehlich, of James Island, died Tuesday as a result of broken bones and a massive head injury after a suspected drunken driver struck him as he was walking Oct. 23.
Police charged 31-year-old Summerville resident Matthew Fisher with second-degree felony DUI. He has been released from the Charleston County jail on $25,000 bail.
Froehlich fell into a coma after the accident, which occurred outside where the party was being held at the Brick House Kitchen property at 1575 Folly Road.
On Tuesday, Brickhouse owner Christopher Thomas called the outcome "very very tragic," adding "this is not something I would want on anybody." It is too early to determine if he would allow the property to host the party next year, he said. An attorney for the Skinful event declined comment.
Earlier, Froehlich's father, Kenneth, placed blame for the accident on the organizers, calling Skinful a "sanctioned rave" set in "the darkest corner of Folly Road." He vowed to stop the party from happening again.
The event included 12 uniformed police officers and more than 20 undercover officers, plus security hired by Skinful and the Brick House. Organizers arranged for four free shuttles for thousands of partygoers and an explicit warning on its website not to walk along the road, since there are no sidewalks.
Froehlich said earlier that his son worked as an electrician for a Hollywood company and cares for a 2-year-old son.