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One teen dead, one facing charges in crash of stolen car

Apr 10 2012
An RCMP member stands beside one of the occupants of a car that crashed in Sooke after he was released from hospital 

An RCMP member stands beside one of the occupants of a car that crashed in Sooke after he was released from hospital

Photograph by: Adrian Lam , timescolonist.com (April 9, 2012)

An 18-year-old is facing charges in the death of his friend after a stolen car crashed in Sooke Monday morning.

Four teens were riding in the Chevrolet sedan, speeding westbound on West Coast Road around 10:15 a.m., when the car went out of control on the gravel shoulder, narrowly missed an oncoming motorhome, sheered a utility pole in half and flipped into a ditch upside down, Sooke RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve Wright said.

A male teen in the back seat died at the scene. Two males, one of whom police say was the driver, were out of the car when Sooke firefighters arrived.

Firefighters pried a door off the car to get a teen girl out. The girl was airlifted to Victoria General Hospital around 11 a.m. Police initially said she had serious head injuries, but at the hospital her injuries were found to be less serious than first feared. The two surviving males were taken to the hospital via ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

Two people in the car were 18 and two were 15, but Wright would not specify the age of the deceased or the ages of those taken to hospital. He did not have hometowns for the teens.

Excessive speed was a factor in the crash, Wright said.

About 3:30 p.m., a man who RCMP say was the driver, was released from Victoria General Hospital into police custody. He did not have any visible injuries but was limping. Dressed in a red and black hoodie and hospital pants, he smoked a cigarette and hung his head, rubbing his face with his hands, as he gave a tearful statement to a Sooke Mountie in the hospital parking lot before being transported to the Sooke RCMP detachment.

Parents of the victims were at the hospital but did not want to speak to the Times Colonist.

The man, whose name was not released, is to appear in court today facing charges of possession of stolen property and either criminal negligence causing death or dangerous driving causing death.

Police have not said whether the passengers will face criminal charges for being in the stolen vehicle.

Wright said the car was stolen between 3:30 and 5:30 a.m. from a home on Church Road in Sooke.

West Coast Road, between Grant Road and Kemp Lake Road, was closed until 5 p.m. as firefighters, Sooke RCMP officers, the B.C. Coroners Service, forensic investigators and crash reconstructionists from the RCMP South Island traffic team investigated.

The driver of the motorhome, a middle-age man with a white pony tail and beard, appeared shaken as he told the coroner that he stopped just in time to avoid the car, which flew sideways as it took out the utility pole.

The crash happened in front of Park Isle Marine at 7369 West Coast Rd.

Roy Parkinson, owner of Park Isle Marine, said he was sitting in his office when he heard a crash and called 911. He rushed outside to a chaotic scene.

Witnesses told Parkinson they saw the Chevrolet pass an SUV on a double yellow line before it went out of control and became airborne, flipping into the ditch.

One of the car occupants tried to pull out the injured female teen, but a passerby, a retired firefighter, told him to stop and wait for the professionals, Parkinson said.

"Some poor kid lost his life to foolishness," said one witness, who refused to give his name.

Another witness, Luke Harman, 19, was working nearby when he heard a car "go flying by" before hitting the pole. "It was going pretty fast. Too fast."

Harman ran over and saw about 10 people had stopped to help the four people in the car.

The family of the teen killed in the crash was informed Monday afternoon but police had not released his name Monday night.


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