Underage Driver Crashes, Killing One

March 8, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
A small Fresno county town is in mourning, after a car full of teens veered off a road and into a canal killing one of them.The accident happened near the intersection of Dinuba and Sutter near the town of San Joaquin in west Fresno county. Most of the victims are from tranquillity.

The 15 year old girl killed in the accident was in the eighth grade at Tranquillity elementary. Another 15 year old girl injured in the crash also went to school here.

The two others, a 16 year old boy and 15 year old girl, went to school across the street at Tranquillity high.

The accident occurred a few miles from here.

Three of the four young people in this van survived the plunge into the canal. But one fifteen year old girl who was trapped inside, died.

Alex Tafoya, friend of victim, says "She's a great person. That's all I can say, a great person. She was like a sister to me."

The accident occurred near the town of San Joaquin. The highway patrol says the driver, a 15 year old girl lost control of the van on Dinuba Avenue, and over-corrected.

Craig Hinch, Highway Patrol, says "It travelled up the embankment then overturned into the canal or irrigation ditch."

Three of the teens were able to get out. Two suffered moderate injuries and are hospitalized. The driver sustained minor injuries. She did not have a driver's license.

Some of the young people in the neighborhood tell us, out here in the country, it's pretty common for underage kids to drive.

No charges have been filed in connection with this accident but the highway patrol is still investigating.


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