Omaha police looking into who sold teen alcohol the night before fatal crash

Omaha police investigators are looking through a dead teenager’s phone to determine who sold him alcohol the night before the car he was driving crashed into a pole.

George Gervase, 17, who was a junior at Elkhorn High School, died about 6:40 a.m. Oct. 12 after his car crashed into a power pole and a tree.

The 2005 Nissan Altima he was driving was found in a ditch near 192nd and Pacific Streets.

Officers smelled a strong odor of alcohol from Gervase’s body but still are waiting on toxicology reports.

Alcohol use may have been a factor in the high-speed crash, according to court documents.

If alcohol is determined to have been a factor, prosecutors could charge those who provided the alcohol to Gervase with a felony — procuring alcohol for a minor that results in a minor’s death.

In 2012, a waitress was one of the first to be charged under the new law after she served alcohol to an 18-year-old and another minor. The 18-year-old crashed on West Dodge Road and died.

The charge carries a maximum of three years in prison.

An investigator spoke to a girl who said she and Gervase purchased alcohol from three other Elkhorn High students on Oct. 11 in the school parking lot.

Elkhorn High was closed Oct. 12 for a teacher in-service day.

Security cameras show people from a white Chevy pickup and a black car meeting in the parking lot about 11:45 p.m. Oct. 11.

The video also shows a passenger getting out of the black car, which officers think was the car Gervase later crashed.

The three teens who sold the alcohol may have purchased it from a friend who works at a gas station, according to court documents.

Police had requested a warrant to search the data from the phones of those three teens to identify the gas station where they got the alcohol. Gervase’s phone data, including texts, photos, videos and Snapchat messages, is also being searched.

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