BRATTLEBORO - A Dummerston man could spend up to five years in jail if found guilty of contributing to the death of a 17-year-old Brattleboro Union High School student on Feb. 5.

According to a press release from the Brattleboro Police Department, Jude L. Tyler, 49, was cited Feb. 15 for furnishing alcohol to and/or enabling consumption by minors with death or serious bodily injury resulting.

On the night of Feb. 5, James K. Evans, of Dummerston, was involved in a single-vehicle accident on Upper Dummerston Road near the Brattleboro County Club. He was airlifted to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., where he died from injuries sustained in the accident.

Though the investigation into the accident and the circumstances led up to it are ongoing, Brattleboro Police Chief Gene Wrinn said he takes the allegations very seriously.

"There are hazards to providing alcohol to minors," he said.

In addition to a potential sentence of five years in prison, Tyler could also be fined up to $10,000.

A few days after the accident, BUHS Principal Steve Perrin said the school was rocked by the news of Evans' death.

"Jim was very popular," said Perrin. "He was an important part of the school."

Evans was born on Oct. 6, 1995, the son of James H. and Kathy E. (Tyler) Evans. He had attended Saint Michael's School, Dummerston School and was a junior at BUHS.


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According to his obituary, he had been elected Ambassador of his auto shop class at the Windham Regional Career Center and was an honor student. Evans' family established a scholarship in his name at the Windham Regional Career Center for students pursuing a career in the automotive field.

Donations may be sent to Brattleboro Savings and Loan, c/o James K. Evans Automotive Scholarship, 221 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301.

Contributions may also be sent to Saint Michael's School, 48 Walnut Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301 attn: Elaine Beam, Principal.

Bob Audette can be reached at raudette@reformer.com, or at 802-254-2311, ext. 160. Follow Bob on Twitter @audette.reformer.