Driver in Porter Ranch car crash that killed two teens will face charges, police say
Investigators said a minivan driven by a 19-year-old man slammed into the family car at around 2 a.m. Thursday on a dark road on Porter Ranch, killing a teenage boy and his friend and injuring two girls.
Police said the boys, ages 14 and 15, were riding in the backseat and were wearing seatbelts, but the back of the minivan was at the back of the car, facing the other way.
The accident, which was caused by a high-powered SUV being driven by a woman, was so hard her car flipped several times. The driver survived the accident, but was taken to a local hospital.
“At the time of the crash, the driver was in complete control of her vehicle and was also not impaired,” the crash report said.
After reviewing evidence, police said Wednesday that the crash was the fault of the minivan’s driver, identified as Mariah Carrasco and that she was driving at an excessive speed.
Carrasco was charged with two felony counts of driving under the influence of alcohol — causing death and injury — a felony count of reckless driving causing personal injury, and a misdemeanor count of driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more, according to the report.
The driver of the SUV, identified as 29-year-old Jessica Nicole Salazar of Northridge, was charged with two felony counts of driving under the influence of alcohol — causing death and injury — a felony count of driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more, a misdemeanor count of not wearing a seatbelt and not keeping the proper lane with respect to vehicles — both misdemeanors, the report said.
After the wreck, Salazar was seen driving away and had a 0.1 percent blood-alcohol level — the legal limit in California. It was also unclear if Salazar was driving under the influence, the report said.
According to the report, the boys’ bodies were flown to Loma Linda University Medical Center in California for autopsies, and it wasn’t clear what caused the crash. The autopsy results and toxicology report were expected Thursday and the preliminary report Friday.