LEXINGTON, Mo. — A crash outside Lexington High School has the Lafayette County community grieving the death of a 16-year-old girl and serious injuries to two other teens.
The crash happened just after school ended Wednesday afternoon.
A 16-year-old boy who received driver’s license about a month ago, according to his great-grandmother, was driving his girlfriend’s Jeep with four classmates.
Troopers said another car next to the Jeep turned right and obstructed the teen’s view. When the boy pulled out to cross 24 Highway, a pickup truck traveling at highway speeds broadsided the Jeep. Both vehicles flipped but landed on their wheels.
“He said he looked, didn’t see anybody coming, and got about halfway out in the road,” the teen driver’s guardian, Loretta Stigall, said. “The boy that is setting in the car by him says ‘Here comes a truck!’ Zander says he saw everything while he was rolling over. And he got out and could not find his girlfriend. He was looking for her and everything.”
Sadly, the teen driver’s girlfriend died in the wreck. Troopers said she and two other girls who were in the back seat of the Jeep were all ejected. None were wearing seatbelts.
A relative of the teenage driver involved in the crash said one girl is being treated at Children’s Mercy Hospital for a fractured neck.
Troopers said it appears the teen was driving in violation of Missouri’s graduated license law, which was passed to prevent tragedies such this one.
Under the law, a new 16-year-old driver can only have one non-sibling traveling with them. Troopers said it appears this boy had four, which can cause a lot of distractions.
Also the graduated license law requires anyone with an intermediate license to make sure all those traveling with them are wearing seat belts. Troopers are convinced seat belts could have saved a life or lessened the severity of the injuries.
Relatives said the school has counselors meeting with teens to help them cope with this tragedy.