Police suspect unlicensed teen driver was impaired


by 3TV


Posted on August 6, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 6 at 5:45 PM

Map: 59th Ave. & Southern, Laveen

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PHOENIX -- The 16-year-old old unlicensed driver accused of causing a deadly crash Monday showed signs of impairment, according to detectives with the Phoenix Police Department who evaluated him.

Police said the teen driver of a Dodge Caravan was taking his six siblings to their first day back to school.

He was observed by witnesses driving westbound on Southern Avenue at a high rate of speed. 

The driver was seen making an unsafe passing movement to the right of other traffic and leaving the roadway where it narrowed to a single westbound lane.

The driver appears to have over corrected while trying to get back on to the roadway and lost control of the vehicle. 

The vehicle drove left of center and collided with a vehicle which was eastbound on Southern at 59th Avenue.

The second vehicle was occupied by Matthew Dejarnett, 31.

Dejarnett was properly restrained and the airbags did deploy. However, he was transported to a local hospital where he later died as a result of his injuries.

It appears none of the occupants in the minivan were restrained resulting in several of the children being ejected from the vehicle. 

One of the children was pronounced dead at the scene and the others were transported to local hospitals for treatment. 

Two additional children were later pronounced dead at area hospitals. 

They are Dominic Johnson, 4; Mikquan Johnson, 5 and Jaymon Hamilton, 11.

The driver and two surviving passengers in the minivan have incapacitating injuries and a third, 3-year-old female remains in critical condition. 

PD: Unlicensed teen driver at fault for deadly crash