A 17-year-old boy identified as Pedro Fuentes died and six others were hospitalized, after a rollover crash in Tustin the afternoon of March 23. According to news reports, the incident occurred in the 16000 block of Legacy Road between Tustin Ranch Road and Warner Avenue. Seven people, mostly teenagers, were in the Infiniti M 37 at the time. The sedan was traveling eastbound on Legacy Road when it veered off the roadway and crashed into a cement post. This caused the vehicle to spin out of control and hit the back of a parked moving van. The sedan then rolled over.
The other people who suffered injuries were hospitalized in critical condition. They included three 17-year-old boys, two 17-year-old girls and a 20-year-old woman. Orange County Fire Authority officials said they had to use Jaws of Life to extricate the patients out of the vehicle and it took them three minutes to get the doors off. Officials also said speed was a factor and that at least two people did not have seatbelts on because there were so many people inside. There was no indication of street racing and no other vehicles seem to be involved, officials said. Anyone with information is asked to contact Tustin police at 714-573-3218.
Teen Driver Accidents
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver and passengers were all teenagers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teens drive less than all age groups, but their numbers of crashes and crash-related deaths are disproportionately high. In the United States, the fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16- to 19-year-olds is nearly three times the rate for drivers ages 20 and over. The risk is highest for ages 16 and 17. In fact, according to NHTSA’s statistics, the fatal crash rate per mile driven is twice as high for 16-17-year-olds as it is for 18-19-year-olds.
Speed and Seatbelts
In this crash, officials also say excessive speed and failure to wear seatbelts might have caused the major injuries. There were way too many passengers crammed into the sedan. Statistics also show that when a teen driver operates the vehicle with other teen passengers, the potential for a crash is much higher. Our Orange County car accident attorneys have been trying to spread awareness about the importance of wearing seatbelts because they do save lives. We wish those injured in this crash the very best for a quick and full recovery, and send our thoughts and prayers to the family of the young driver who died in this crash.