Teens 'lucky to be alive' after serious crash issue warning for others
WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- Three teenage girls said they are lucky to be alive after a very serious crash last week, and they now have a message for other drivers and passengers in vehicles.
Standley Lake High School sophomores Shannon Patrick and Natalya Stark, and freshman Tessa Edwards play on the school's varsity soccer team. On April 20, they were carpooling home from practice when they crashed their vehicle.
"I just remember coming down the street and we had our windows rolled down and we were listening to music and that's pretty much it," Stark said Wednesday.
According to the Westminster Police Department, Patrick, 16, was driving the other two girls in a Ford Ranger when she hit a speed bump in a 25 mph zone of 106th Avenue.
She lost control, veering into the oncoming lanes. She overcorrected, spinning the truck around. It then rolled upside down, crashing through a fence and coming to a rest in a field.
"I remember my head hitting the windshield," Patrick said.
See images from the crash below:
Stark and Edwards were not wearing seat belts. Both girls were thrown from the vehicle.
"It's basically your mom's worst nightmare," Christy Edwards said.
Her daughter, Tessa, is still at Good Samaritan Hospital, where she spent three days in the ICU. Edwards said she found her 15-year-old daughter unconscious about 40 feet from where the truck came to a rest.
All three girls suffered serious injuries that will take weeks to months to heal. Patrick, who was wearing a seat belt, walked away with bumps and bruises.
She had glass in her hands and a concussion. Stark has a fractured vertebra, broken ribs and staples in her head. They were released from the hospital the next day.
Edwards, who suffered the most serious injuries, has a broken left femur, a broken right ankle and a fractured vertebra. She will spend up to three weeks in the hospital. Her mother said it could take nine months to a year before she will be able to play soccer again.
"Luckily, she has her life and we are super thankful and blessed that she's still here with us," Christy Edwards said.
But she hopes the girls' accident can be a lesson to other because it could have been avoided by simply wearing seat belts.
"The ride from practice to my house was literally like a minute long, and I wasn't thinking and didn't think I needed a seat belt," Stark said. "It's important that you always wear a seat belt no matter, even if you're just going around the corner."
Under Colorado law, Patrick has not had her driver's license long enough to carry passengers unsupervised.
For the first six months, a new teen driver can have no passengers younger than 21 unless a parent or other licensed adult driver is in the vehicle. For the next six months, new teen drivers can have only one passenger younger than 21 if unsupervised by a licensed adult driver. Patrick has not had her license for six months.
There is no known cause for why Patrick lost control of the vehicle.The families of the three girls have started a GoFundMe to pay for their mounting medical bills. All three girls are expected to make full recoveries.