Four teens, officer injured in crash outside Peoria High

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Javier Soto

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 7:50 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 7:19 PM

Map: Peoria High School
83rd Avenue and Cholla

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- Six people, including four teens and one police officer, were taken to the hospital after a minivan and a squad car collided in front of Peoria High School.

It happened shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday at 83rd Avenue and Cholla Street, which is south of Cactus Road.

The officer was on a routine patrol at the time of the crash. That officer reportedly suffered minor injuries when the car's airbag deployed.

There reportedly were five people in the minivan -- a 52-year-old woman who was behind the wheel and four high-school age kids. Two 15-year-old girls, a 14-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy were taken to a local hospital as a precaution. Their injuries reportedly were minor.

According to investigators, the minivan was making a left turn into the school when the squad car, which was heading south on 83rd Avenue, hit it.

While police are still investigating to determine who was at fault, Arizona law generally places the responsibility for this kind of wreck on the left-turner.

It's laid out in ARS § 28-772.

"The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle that is approaching from the opposite direction and that is within the intersection or so close to the intersection as to constitute an immediate hazard."

In Smith v. Johnson, a 1995 case, Judge Sheldon Weisberg described the statute as "a 'negligence per se' statute: the left-turning driver must yield to the oncoming traffic, regardless whether he diligently looks for such traffic."

Officers are talking to witnesses and expected to remain on the scene for most of the morning

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