PD: Unlicensed teen driver at fault for deadly crash


by Catherine Holland

3TV team coverage

Posted on August 5, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 7 at 12:34 PM

Map: 59th Ave. & Southern, Laveen

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Police: 16-year-old was driving minivan full of kids

LAVEEN, Ariz. – Three of seven siblings are dead following an early morning car crash in Laveen.

It happened at about 7 a.m. Monday at 59th and Southern avenues.

Police said the 16-year-old driver of a minivan went off the road, overcorrected and slammed head-on into another vehicle. The minivan then rolled over, coming to rest right-side up by a canal.

The crash was likely caused by the inexperienced and unlicensed 16-year-old driver. Police said he may have been impaired and are awaiting test results.

The kids in the minivan range in age from 3 to 16, and reportedly were on their way to school.

"Many of them have been injured very seriously. ... There are children that were ejected from this vehicle this morning," explained Sgt. Trent Crump with the Phoenix Police Department. "Some were found in the field here where the vehicle rolled over by the golf course -- in the shrubs, in the bush areas."

"We actually had firefighters sweeping through the trees and the bushes," said Capt. Larry Nuñez of the Phoenix Fire Department.

Although police have not released the names of anyone involved in the crash, family members said Jaymon Hamilton, 11,  Mikquan Johnson, 5, and Dominic Johnson, 4, were killed.

Police said the 16-year-old driver of the minivan, the oldest of the siblings, is in stable condition.

Two sisters, ages 3 and 12, are still in the hospital. The toddler had to undergo surgery on her face.

A 14-year-old boy who was in the front passenger seat was up and talking to first responders at the scene. That child was transported to a local hospital as a precaution.

Police believe out of the seven people in the minivan, only the 14-year-old was wearing a seat belt.

In addition to the children, paramedics transported the 40-year-old driver of the car that collided with the minivan. At last check, he was in critical condition.

While there are several schools close to the crash scene, which is located in the Phoenix Union High School District, police have not determined where the kids were being taken.

This was the second crash in as many days in which children were thrown out of a vehicle on impact.

Southern Avenue was closed at 59th Avenue while firefighters conducted triage and police launched their investigation.