Teen faces charge

December 31, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

The California Highway Patrol will seek a manslaughter charge against the 15-year-old driver of a pickup who was involved in an accident on a county road Friday in which one girl was killed and two boys seriously injured.

The decision whether to file the charge will rest with the county District Attorney's Office.

Highway Patrol Sgt. Mike Berger said Monday the Highway Patrol will present its request for the manslaughter charge to the DA either Wednesday or Thursday.

Berger said the teen, who has not been taken into custody, has been notified of the Highway Patrol's intentions.

The accident occurred about 10:30 p.m. Friday in the west county area known as the Superstition Mountains.

The pickup, driven by a 15-year-old whose identity was not released, was traveling on an unpaved portion of Wheeler Road near Huff Road when the accident occurred.

The teen did not have a driver's license, nor did the other three youths in the vehicle.


According to the Highway Patrol, the driver lost control of the pickup, causing the vehicle to roll.

Sixteen-year-old Imperial resident Kyla Alsip, in the front passenger seat, was killed. According to the county Coroner's Office, Kyla suffered blunt trauma to her neck and died at the scene.

Two boys in the pickup, ages 11 and 12 and both of Imperial, suffered serious injuries.

Berger said both suffered head injuries and the 12-year-old also suffered chest injuries.

Both boys were stabilized at El Centro Regional and then flown by helicopter to Children's Hospital in San Diego.

The 12-year-old, identified by Children's Hospital as Gordon Belt, was in serious condition Monday. The 11-year-old, whose identity was not released, was in fair condition Monday.

The driver suffered minor injuries. There was no information on his condition.

Berger alleged the teen was driving about 55 mph, a speed the Highway Patrol has determined is unsafe for that stretch of road.

Berger said for that reason and because he did not have a driver's license, the Highway Patrol will request the manslaughter charge.

Berger said the boy had his parents' permission to drive the vehicle but was instructed to only drive it off-road. The boy apparently was driving from one campsite to another when the accident occurred.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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