Wednesday Jan 07 2009
Foresthill teen ‘severely injured,’ driver OK after SUV hits tree
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
Parent says license restrictions tough to enforce
Law enforcement officials are warning young drivers to heed their license restrictions following a recent crash that left a Foresthill teen severely injured. The teen was a passenger in an SUV that hit a tree Monday morning. The 16-year-old female, whose name is being withheld because of her age, had to be extricated from the right front passenger seat when emergency crews arrived at the scene shortly after the 10 a.m. crash. Another 16-year-old Foresthill teen was driving the gold 2005 Ford Expedition west on Joeger Road near Mount Vernon Road in unincorporated Placer County when it ran off the roadway and hit a tree head-on. The female driver did not suffer any injuries, but was taken to Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital as a precaution. The 16-year-old passenger was transported to Sutter Roseville Medical Center. Hospital officials could not comment on her condition because of her age. Several California Highway Patrol officers responded as well as crews from the Placer County and Auburn City fire departments. Placer County Sheriff’s Office deputies assisted with traffic control. The road was closed for about an hour-and-a-half Monday. Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to transport passengers under the age of 20 unless accompanied and supervised by another licensed driver who is 25 or older, Auburn California Highway Patrol officials said. Also, drivers younger than 18 cannot drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless a licensed driver 25-years-old or older is in the vehicle. Teen drivers are at fault for 66 percent of fatal collisions they are involved in, but only represent 4 percent of the state’s licensed drivers, according to statistics from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System. Auburn mother Charlene Ryan said license restrictions are a “major issue” in her house of three teenagers. She said when she caught her 18-year-old son driving with a friend in the car she took away the keys and grounded her son for a month. “These kids for some reason don’t think they’re going to get caught,” Ryan said. “I believe because they’re naïve, they don’t fully comprehend consequences from the law.” She said she continues to talk to her younger children, a 16-year-old and a 15-year-old who recently received her permit. She said her teens argue she’s trying to work against them, but she reminds them she’s “trying to teach.” “It’s a hard topic,” Ryan said. The Journal's Jenifer Gee can be reached at email@example.com or post a comment.