A Missouri teenager will serve jail and probation terms for causing the crash that killed two people in rural Tazewell County 13 months ago.

Tyler Buch, however, avoided a possible prison term with a prosecutor’s decision to drop initial charges against him of causing death by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – specifically, marijuana.

Buch, 17, of St. Peters, Mo., was sentenced to 30 months probation and 180 days in jail when he pleaded guilty Monday to two felony counts of aggravated reckless driving causing great bodily harm and one of failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Jason Mead, 31, of South Pekin, and Giovani Hagan, 17, of Missouri, a passenger in Buch’s car, died in the crash the evening of Sept. 1, 2017, on Townline Road south of Mackinaw.

Three other Missouri teens who were in a car just ahead of Buch’s vehicle said they were all heading from St. Louis to Chicago. All said they were speeding well beyond the 55-mph limit as they drove east on Townline, a prosecutor’s court affidavit stated.

Buch lost control of his car. Its rear was swerving into the westbound lane when it struck Mead’s pickup truck, the other teens said. 

Buch, then 16, admitted he smokes marijuana, and chemical traces of the drug, which can remain present in blood for weeks after ingestion, were found in his system after the crash. Court records made no mention of when he last ingested marijuana before the crash.

He would have faced up to 14 years in prison if he’d been convicted of the DUI-homicide charges.

He’ll be required to serve his entire jail term, with no day-for-day credit, when it begins on Oct. 18. Buch also must serve 200 hours of community service.