UPDATE TO SATURDAY’S CRASH ON CHINA HAT ROAD
A Ford F350 crew cab pickup was driving westbound on China Hat Road near milepost with a 16 year old at the wheel and seven other passengers. The sixteen year old driver was not licensed to drive. Authorities say he lost control of the pickup – it left the roadway and smashed head-on into a juniper tree. At the time of the crash, three of the seven occupants inside the cab of the truck were wearing seatbelts. An eighth occupant in the bed of the truck was ejected.
Evidence at the scene has determined the truck was speeding and being driven recklessly at the time of the crash. Marijuana impairment is also being investigated as a contributing factor.
The sixteen year old driver has been cited and released on the following charges: Assault III, Assault IV, Recklessly Endangering Another and Reckless Driving. The driver has been released from the hospital.
The eight occupants of the truck are all students of Marshall High School and Mt. View High School in Bend. Three of the vehicle’s occupants are in the hospital in critical condition.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the quick response and efforts of the US Forest Service firefighters who were in the area and responded to the crash scene. Their quick medical aid, in conjunction with the Air Link and Life Flight air ambulances that responded to the scene, has ensured the best possible outcome from this crash.
This investigation is ongoing.