Originally Published: November 1, 2000 7:15 p.m.
PONDEROSA PARK - A trio of teenagers crashed into a large pine tree last night, sending one of them to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix with a broken neck.
Capt. Jeff Knotek, spokesman for the Prescott Fire Department, said that the three local teenagers – a 16-year-old girl, a 15-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy – hit an approximately one-and-a-half-foot diameter pine tree along the side of Ponderosa Park Road, about a mile south of Highway 89, a little after 9 p.m.
The impact knocked down the approximately 50-foot-high tree.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, the 16-year-old driver and the 17-year-old front-seat passenger – both of whom were wearing seatbelts – were walking around outside of the small, mid-sized car.
Firefighters had to extract the 15-year-old backseat passenger - who apparently was not wearing her seatbelt and suffered head, neck and chest injuries, Knotek said. Paramedics transported her to YRMC as a level one patient.
As a precaution, firefighters also put a neck brace on the 16-year-old driver, who was knocked unconscious by the crash and complaining of neck pain.
Paramedics also rushed her to YRMC as a level one patient. A subsequent X-ray showed that the driver suffered a C-2 fracture in her neck, and paramedics flew her by helicopter to St. Joseph's.
The 17-year-old boy broke his right collarbone, and paramedics transported him to YRMC as a level three patient.
Their conditions were unknown at press time.