Teen girl driver in rollover accident was drinking, authorities say

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SEATTLE –Police are hoping to make more arrests in a suspected Puyallup DUI crash that injured five teenage girls.

Detectives said one of the girls, the 17-year old driver, was drunk when her car flipped over along River Road in Puyallup early Thrusday morning.

“It first struck a utility pole, then went through a fence and hit several trees, and then rolled over on to its top,” said Guy Gill with the Washington State Patrol.

The 17-year-old driver was injured along with another teen passenger who broke her arm. Both were taken to the hospital. Police said all of the girls were wearing seatbelts, a fact that saved their lives.

Police said the driver had a suspended license.

“She shouldn’t even have been in the vehicle to begin with,” Gill said. “She’s not allowed to have passengers in her vehicle and you throw in alcohol on top of this it’s a recipe for disaster.”

RolloverThat girl now faces DUI and vehicular assault charges. The case also puts the spotlight back on teen drinking and the dangers of driving.

Kim Nygard, with Pierce County’s Alcohol and Drug Free Youth Program, said drinking among teens in the county is actually down. She recently held a forum on teen drinking for parents and kids at Puyallup High School.

“I think that the kids know, the kids have the information, but they need continued support.”

Police investigating the crash along River Road, are also hoping to charge anyone who may have provided alcohol to the teens in the car that crashed, officials said.

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  • Guest

    Where are her parents? How and why did she have access to a car if her license is suspended? Why on a school day are they not in school? There are some questions here the parents should be answering.

    • Brian

      As far as the school question, I think its still spring break pretty much statewide. But you're right, the parents are gonna have some 'splainin to do!

      • Sarah

        FYI: They weren't "ALL drunk". There are some reporting discrepancies to be remedied. School isn't usually happening at 3am- thank you for pointing out that their district is on Spring Break…. There a lot of questions and we are asking them.

  • sarah

    See prior post- they were not all drinking or "ALL drunk". This is misreported. They are on Spring Break. The parents ARE asking the questions, and everyone involved thought their children were safe. This is not the result of complacent parenting, but more so, the successful deception of teenage daughters. Many (or most) parents of teenagers can understand this quandary. This situation has us all reeling with disappointment and performing a "reality check" of behavior. I hope everyone who sees these posts will stop judging and (instead) hope our daughter has a complete recovery. We were shocked by this event, and stifled by the judgmental tones of the blogosphere.

    • Kevin

      It's really sad how quick everybody is to judge (especially without knowing all the details). As a parent of a teenager, I know how deceptive teenagers can be. You can't be there next to them 24 hours a day; all you can do is hope you've taught them well enough to make good decisions. Kids can come from the best households and still make mistakes like this.

      So shame on all of you casting stones so quickly.

    • Kris

      After having taught high school students for over 20 yrs, I can say that parents ( and teachers) WANT to believe the best about their kids. You want to believe everyone always tells the truth. The fact is- they don't. I do not condone such behavior, but I have seen first hand that many kids will lie to their parents and teachers. As teens, they will be testing their parents- will parents follow through with threats of punishments? Will parents trust the child and NOT check out everything they say they are doing? It is incredibly sad what happened and what COULD have happened. One of my son's friends (call him Mike) in high school ( son is 29 now) pulled the same trick. No one knew that Mike had snuck out that night with 2 other boys who were spending the night. My son couldn't go since we were starting our vacation trip. We got a call from Mike's mom at 6am when she was frantically trying to find him. She then got the call that NO parent wants. All 3 boys were killed in a car accident. They weren't drinking, but ran into a highway construction machine after shooting off illegal fireworks and evading police.
      Luckily, these girls didn't kill anyone. And hopefully they will receive help in addition to their punishments.

  • Disappointed

    Shame on those girls…they could have killed another innocent driver or pedestrian! I guess they all lied to their parents and were out partying and drinking. Who the heck lets their 17 year old go out with an already suspended license????????? Shame, shame, shame on you all!! Jail time for the driver is a must.

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