Three teenagers critically injured in Juneau crash

Posted: Monday, May 05, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) Three teenagers were in critical condition after their car hit a guardrail and flipped in Juneau over the weekend.

The teens two from Juneau and one from Ketchikan were flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after the crash, which occurred shortly before 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

The driver, a 17-year-old Juneau girl, was out of the vehicle and walking around when police and fire officials arrived at the scene. The teen was treated and released at Bartlett Regional Hospital, nursing supervisor Susan Thompson said.

The conditions of the three passengers, a Juneau girl, 15, and two males, 16 and 18, were unknown other than the 15-year-old and 18-year-old were stable, Capt. Tom Porter said Monday. All three were able to talk to the firefighters who extricated them from the wreckage, said Capt. Pete Hettinger of Capital City Fire and Rescue.

Officials at Harborview, Bartlett, the Juneau Police Department and CCFR would not release any of the victims' names. Police are investigating the accident.

We think speed is involved, but it's too early to tell,'' said police Sgt. Kevin Siska.

The Juneau-Douglas High School prom was held Saturday night, but it was not known whether the teenagers in the crash had attended. Siska said the victims were not wearing formal attire.

Police said the 1990 Toyota Camry was heading northwest on Back Loop Road toward Auke Bay. As the driver crossed the Mendenhall River bridge near View Drive, she failed to negotiate a left-hand curve in the road.'' The car slid sideways and hit a guardrail, breaking off two guardrail posts, then flipped and landed on top of the rail.

Autorities were were able to slide one of the boys out of the car and on to a backboard, Hettinger said. The boy was complaining of pelvic pain and back pain,'' and firefighters took spinal precautions, he said.

The other two passengers, a boy and a girl, were responsive but were trapped.

The vehicle was upside down,'' Hettinger told the Juneau Empire. The car was embedded and twisted around the guardrail. It was such a mess.''

Firefighters used hydraulic equipment, air bags and blocks of wood to raise, support and stabilize the car. They were able to remove the girl and the boy.

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