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UPDATE: Teens in SCV weekend collision recovering

Driver of vehicle was junior; rest of students in Saturday night crash were sophomores

Posted: June 2, 2014 9:43 a.m.
Updated: June 2, 2014 8:13 p.m.

A car drives past the remains of a light standard knocked over Saturday night where Newhall Ranch Road turns into Golden Valley Road in the Santa Clarita Valley. Photo by Katharine Lotze

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Two Santa Clarita Valley teens injured in a late-night crash last weekend were resting at home Monday, a third was due to go home and a fourth was released, although it was unclear whether she went home or to another hospital, officials said.

The four injured girls, all students at local high schools, were among five in a Honda Accord that crashed into a light standard on Newhall Ranch Road late Saturday night.

Kelly Watson, 15, a sophomore at Canyon High School, was no longer listed as a patient at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital late Monday afternoon, said spokeswoman Maria Orem. She could not say if Watson went home or was transferred to another hospital.

Believed to be the most seriously injured of the four, Watson underwent surgery for head injuries suffered in the crash, according to at least one friend close to the Watson family.

A second girl injured and hospitalized, identified only as a sophomore at Canyon, was also due for release Monday, said Gail Pinsker, spokeswoman for William S. Hart Union High School District.

Four Canyon High School students and one from Opportunities For Learning were in the vehicle Saturday night when the driver apparently lost control of the car on the curve where Newhall Ranch Road becomes Golden Valley Road.

At least two girls were thrown from the vehicle on impact, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials said Sunday. Four were taken to area hospitals.

The driver was a Canyon High junior; the rest of the students were sophomores.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the girls and families of this accident, and we hope for a full recovery for all of them,” Pinsker said.

School officials are not expected to release names of the victims, Pinsker said.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt






bobforte: Posted: June 2, 2014 11:33 a.m.

Wow, a follow up article by JH. Good job.

Glad to see the victims are doing OK also.

ohhyaa: Posted: June 2, 2014 7:52 p.m.

Did I ever make a bad decision as a teen? Absolutely. So this post is coming from a perspective of been there, done that and because I genuinely care about our SCV kids. Hopefully we can all learn a lesson from this.

As I understand it, this car was traveling at a high rate of speed. Teens (even girls) think nothing of driving between 80 to 100 mph on an open stretch of road with little driving experience. Add 4 passengers a cell phone, radio, no seat belts... Not good.

I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for a full and speedy recovery.

missyJk: Posted: June 3, 2014 1:20 a.m.

Glad all are recovering... now granted we should all be staying on the road, but those light posts look awful close to the road, as in right next to the curb. i would think for safety reasons they should be a little further back. if for any reason you swerve to avoid something you're going be wrapped around that post...

lmjenki: Posted: June 3, 2014 9:57 a.m.

How old was the driver, and did she have a license or a permit?

I will be interested to see if any charges are filed in this case. We just had pre-graduation coverage in the paper regarding young driver deaths in the SCV, yet this looks on the face of it like one more case of "the lights are on, but nobody is home" when it comes to driving responsibly.

I'm glad the girls will recover, but am even more glad I wasn't driving anywhere near them that evening. Thank Providence they didn't take out any bystanders. It is sheer good luck that no one was killed.

@missyjk: How far do we as a society bend over to mitigate incompetence and/or stupidity on the part of individuals? New Jersey felt it necessary to pass a law stopping pedestrians from using smart phones while walking because they were being run down while jaywalking in the streets on green lights. We rant about the "Nanny state" but seemingly are so incompetent that we need laws to tell us what commonsense (apparently not so common anymore)should be telling us what we should be doing instead.

If you are paying attention to the road and you're driving responsibly, rather than doing any of the other myriad things people do in their cars these days, there is no problem. Frankly, anyone who cannot avoid a sudden danger in the roadway without crashing, should probably get a professional evaluation of their driving proficiency. What if that lamp post was someone walking their dog? Would it then be their fault that they were hit by someone obviously unfit to be driving? I find it sad that excuses are made for those who apparently believe that seat belts aren't necessary, and so uncomfortable, driver education is something you have to do to get a license, it doesn't actually mean anything, and using your smart phone to text while driving isn't something to worry about because "everyone does it."

Hopefully the girls will remember this as a wake up call to pay attention and obey the law when driving, but I won't hold my breath. And does every young person have to experience this before they see the light? Didn't they sit through any of those school presentations by the Fire department and Sheriff's department on the horrific consequences of irresponsible driving?

This isn't a troll post, it comes, as ohhyaa said, from having been there. Parents need to talk more to their kids and ride with them, and most importantly, be good examples of safe driving habits for them.

johnnyrock: Posted: June 3, 2014 10:28 a.m.

I agree 100% with Imjenki. Also is there not a law that says new drivers can not drive other passengers in vehicle? I thought there was one, not sure. My son will be driving soon and I am not looking forward to it. I see young people driving like they are on a racetrack. I am scared to drive, my son is in no rush and I don't blame him.

missyJk: Posted: June 3, 2014 12:14 p.m.

@ imjenki and @ johnnyrock, if we want to take that stance i for one think the talking on the cell phone law is BS as an "older" person who has had cell service since it was a big box in your car and one who can multi task, worked for that big phone monopoly since i was a teen, why should laws be tailored because of teens? Because we dont want to have anyone get killed unnecessarily, that's why, so we use those blue tooths because of them..this cell thing wasnt an issue til teens started texting and talking causing accidents...i just feel those light posts are very close to the curb and if putting them back a few feet might save a life or two i am all for it

SReilly12: Posted: June 3, 2014 2:23 p.m.

I also agree with Imjenki.

missyJK - you lost me on the light poles. Are we suppose to move ALL the light poles??? Everywhere?!?! Or should we just deal with new installs? The cost of all this, we taxpayers will have to cover?!?! If you mean on just new do you get the message out to only drive on those streets because they are safer?!?!

The purpose of driving is getting from point A to point B period. Not chatting it up on your cell phones or texting. There is be enough multi tasking task for you to concentrate on while driving, you know check that rear view mirror, check those side mirrors, look out and around, pay attention to those other drivers, check those signs and watch those traffic lights and this is an ongoing process. Finish the routine and start all over.

I'd like to see cell usage restricted while driving to only 911 calls. Let the car manufacturers and the cell phone companies come up with a fix. It has to be cheaper that moving poles!!!

missyJk: Posted: June 3, 2014 4:48 p.m.

@ sreilley12 and i would say than have NO children in the car either talk about major point was those light poles on a wide open main thorough fair look out of place and since it seems in this city people hit poles and trees perhaps having them out a little further might help. I for one have NO children by CHOICE but i do feel for parents who may lose theirs in accidents such as this

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