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Underage driver causes car accident fatality in San Diego

This week, an elderly California man died as the result of a car accident involving a 15-year-old driver. According to San Diego police, the boy had taken his parents' sport utility vehicle out for a joyride with four other teenagers when he crashed into the 77-year-old man's vehicle. The man died in the fatal auto accident, and two of the passengers in the boy's SUV were injured. It is not yet clear whether the boy will face criminal charges for underage driving.

According to members of the San Diego Police Department, the accident occurred just before 12:30 a.m. as the elderly man was driving his sedan along Sea World Drive near Mission Beach. Suddenly, he was struck by a Toyota 4-Runner that was being driven the wrong way in reverse. The man was taken to the University of California San Diego Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just a few hours later.

The SUV was being driven by a 15-year-old boy who had taken his parents' SUV out for a drive without their permission. He told investigators that he was driving in reverse because he had missed an exit, and was trying to make his way back. Two of the four passengers in the boy's SUV suffered minor injuries in the crash, and were treated at a nearby emergency room and released.

Because the boy was driving on a provisional driver's license, he may be criminally charged both for driving without a license and for the elderly man's death. In addition, his parents could be held liable for negligence if it appears that they allowed him to take the car out. San Diego prosecutors have not stated whether they plan to charge the boy or his parents.

Source: San Diego 6, "Joyriding Teenage Boy Causes Crash That Kills Elderly Man," Antonio Castelan, 7 July 2011

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