Teen dead, 5 injured in Casa Grande crash


by Jennifer Thomas


Posted on April 13, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 16 at 2:44 PM

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – A teenager is dead and five other people are hospitalized after a crash in Casa Grande early Sunday morning.

Casa Grande police spokesman Thomas Anderson said a Chevrolet Impala was traveling east on Maricopa/Casa Grande Highway when it entered the westbound lane and collided with a Silverado just after midnight.

The five people in the Impala were ejected during the collision. James Seaton, 16, of Casa Grande, did not survive.

Anderson said Randy Puerner, 19, Justin Harrington, 17, Dakota Repass, 16, and Anthony Brooks, 16, were airlifted to Phoenix-area hospitals. They are all from Casa Grande.

Puerner was driving the Impala.

Jennifer McGee, 34, of Maricopa, was driving the Silverado and suffered serious injuries.

Investigators believe speed was a factor in the collision but are not ruling out other possibilities.

James played football for the Casa Grande Union High School Bulldogs.

Students who knew James said they deeply miss their friend and those who never even met him said they are also being impacted.

"It's completely an eye-opener, you know, you never really do think that this is actually going to happen to me," said Ashley Merrell, a junior at the school. "It really makes you thankful for the time that you do have with people."

The school will have grief counselors for students who wish to meet with them as they try to cope with his death.