Police: 3 teens killed in crash after 16-year-old driver loses control while speeding

Three teen girls are dead, and another remains in the hospital after a rollover crash in Arizona. (Source: Arizona's Family)
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 2:50 PM CDT

MESA, Ariz. (KPHO/Gray News) - Authorities in Arizona say three teens died in a crash on Wednesday with another sent to the hospital.

KPHO reports the Mesa Police Department responded to a rollover crash on Guadalupe Road around 9 p.m.

Police said a 16-year-old was driving a blue Ford Mustang when she lost control of the vehicle while changing lanes.

“The Mustang hit a curb, went over the curb and into the landscaping before striking a boulder,” Mesa police detective Richard Encinas said. “This caused it to roll over and plow into a light pole.”

Investigators said the car’s four occupants were female high school students between the ages of 14 and 17.

According to Mesa police, the driver and front-seat passenger died at the scene while two girls in the backseat were rushed to the hospital. One of them later died with the other suffering injuries and was taken to the hospital.

Authorities said it wasn’t immediately clear if the teens were wearing their seat belts.

“It appears that both speed and the weather were the primary causes of the crash,” Encinas said.

Thunderstorms with heavy rain rolled through the area Wednesday night. Rain gauges measured more than a half-inch of rain near the crash scene that evening.

Encinas said the department will not release the girls’ names out of respect for their families.

Residents in the nearby neighborhood said they are heartbroken by what happened.

“It was horrible, it happened so fast,” Sarah Fears said.

Another neighbor said she also heard the crash.

“We heard a crash and I actually thought like lightning had struck,” Tara Turner said. “It sounded like something blew up.”

The girls who died attended Skyline High School and Principal Greg Mendez sent the following note to families:

“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of three Skyline students in a tragic car accident that occurred last night. They will be missed greatly. Our thoughts are with their families and with the family of the student who survived the crash with minor injuries.

On Monday, our school counselors, social worker and district crisis team will be available to lend support if you feel your child would benefit from spending additional time with someone. For immediate crisis support, information can be found on our parent resources webpage.

Any details we may receive regarding services or opportunities to help the families will be available in the front office.

Tragedies such as this are difficult on our community. I know you join me in sending our condolences to the students’ families and friends during this difficult time.”