Photos: Teen driver hits trees, garage in possible DUI wreck; 1 injured

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

EL MIRAGE, Ariz. – A teenager is in the hospital after a car hit two trees and a house early Wednesday morning.

It happened at about 6 a.m. in a neighborhood near 127th Avenue and Thunderbird Road.

According to Chief Steve Campbell of the El Mirage Police Department, four teens were making their way home when the driver apparently lost control of his vehicle while taking a turn too fast. Skid marks were clearly visible on the sidewalk where the path of destruction started.

The car hit a tree, plowed through a bush, sideswiped the garage of a home on the corner, and then hit another tree before continuing down the street. Aerial and ground video from the scene showed a chunk of concrete that sheared off the corner of the garage when the car hit it.

The driver finally stopped a short distance down the street, apparently parking in front of a second house. Investigators are not sure if that house was the teens' intended destination. Police believe one of the teens might live at that home.

Officers roped off the car, which belongs to the mother of one of the teens, with police tape so they could conduct their investigation. The boy reportedly grabbed the car keys while she was asleep.

Most of the damage was to the passenger side of the car. The teen who was in the back passenger seat apparently took the brunt of the impact. He was air-lifted to a local hospital. His injuries reportedly were serious but not life-threatening. While the nature of his injuries was not immediately available, officers on the scene said a full fingernail from that passenger was embedded in one of the trees the car hit.

"His arm was hanging out so when the car sideswiped the tree, the tree hit his arm," said Joe Moreno, the father of one of the kids. Moreno said his 16-year-old son was not injured.

While the car belongs to Moreno's son's mother, Moreno said it was not his son behind the wheel.

The driver, who did stay at the scene, was not hurt and no other injuries were reported. The driver was taken to the El Mirage police station for investigation of possible DUI. He was found to be impaired and was released to his parents..

Police do not yet know where the teens were prior to getting in that car to go home.

Police have not released the names of any of the juveniles or any possible charges.

This is not the first time something like this has happened in this El Mirage neighborhood.

A 3TV viewer says a similar wreck happened on July 23 at her home, which is less than a mile away from the scene of Wednesday's crash. Susan Selensky said a teen driver plowed through her wall. Like Wednesday's incident, alcohol was believed to have been a factor in that wreck, as well.