Two horrible car accidents in Southern California claimed the lives of a total of ten people last weekend. Teenaged drivers were behind the wheel in both cases.
In Orange County, at about 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning, a 16-year-old boy who did not have a license was driving five other teenagers home from the Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park. In October, the park converts to a Halloween theme as the popular “Knott’s Scary Farm.”
The BMW Sedan drove off the road going southbound on the Santa Ana Freeway in Irvine, crashing and catching fire. All five of the passengers, two girls and three boys aged 14-15 were killed – most burned beyond recognition. The driver was listed in serious but stable condition. Orange County Fire Authority confirmed that the car was flattened on top and showed burn marks as it was towed away from the scene.
The name of the owner of the car has not yet been released. The two girls were friends from the Laguna Hills High School water polo team. The boys were friends of one of the girls, and they played together on the elite Mission Viejo Soccer Club.
Second Accident Also Claims Five Lives
A few hours earlier on Friday night, three cars crashed near Chino, East of Los Angeles, on a two-lane road. The pile-up involved a 2000 extended cab Chevrolet truck, a 2002 Honda Civic and a 2013 Honda Accord. All four of the teenage boys in the Chevy truck were killed, as was the lone driver in the Accord who was 47 years old. The only survivor was the driver of the Civic, who has been released from the hospital.
Authorities have determined that the truck carrying the teenagers crashed into the concrete k-rail barrier, burst into flames and triggered the pile-up. When police arrived at the scene after 8:30 p.m., two of the vehicles were on fire. It is not known yet what caused the truck to crash.
The four teenagers were friends aged 18-19 who had recently graduated from the same high school and were members of the high school band.
Authorities are still investigating these accidents and no charges have yet been filed. Both of these horrific scenes are tragic reminders of the need for caution with teen drivers.
USA Today confirmed that the 16-year-old driving the other teens home from Knott’s Berry Farm at 2:00 a.m. did not have a license. But even if he was licensed, “he would still have been driving illegally if he had because state laws don’t allow teens under 18 to drive that late at night or to have teenage passengers without a driver over 25 in the car.”