Teens killed in 'catastrophic' collision with semi identified

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Department of Public Safety has identified the two teenage boys who were killed when their car collided with a semi truck in Surprise Monday night.

According to DPS, Donald Todd Austin and Brendan Daniel Parrish, both 16, were on their way to a Coyotes game at the time of the wreck. Austin was behind the wheel of the 2002 Oldsmobile Alero.

The boys reportedly were sophomores at a local high school, possibly Shadow Ridge, which is on spring break this week.

The crash, described by DPS Sgt. Tim Mason as "catastrophic," happened around 7 p.m. at the intersection of the Loop 303 and Olive Avenue.

The impact was so great the semi truck was flipped on its side and the passenger car was so completely mangled that investigators were unable to discern the make or model. They had to use the VIN to get information about the car.

The driver of the semi truck, Richard Barrett, 55, was airlifted to John C Lincoln Hospital in stable condition.

The rig, a Bashas' grocery truck, was towed from the scene at about 6 a.m..

DPS investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what happened, but they believe the boys were heading east on Olive Avenue when they entered the intersection and collided with the semi.

The crash happened adjacent to train tracks for the BNSF railway and took out a railroad signal poll.

Rail service was also cut off, although an employee for the railroad company said no trains were scheduled to pass through the area overnight.

Investigators finally reopened the intersection shortly before 6:30 a.m., nearly 12 hours after the wreck.