One teenager is dead and another is suffering from critical injuries after a crash in Hernando County.
The two-car crash happened just after 3:30 p.m. Wednesday on US-19 at Country Road.
FHP investigators say a 17-year-old was driving a Ford Mustang south on US-19 when he tried to turn left onto Country Road.
According to a crash report from FHP, the Mustang turned into the path of a Dodge pickup truck, causing the truck to hit the right side of the Mustang.
The 16-year-old passenger in the Mustang was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 17-year-old driver is at St. Joseph’s Hospital with critical injuries.
The driver of the pickup truck was not harmed.
Car accidents are a leading cause of death for teens throughout the United States. Research indicates that the risk of a fatal car crash is increased when a passenger between the ages of 8 and 17 is riding with a teen driver, travelling on high-speed roads or not wearing a seatbelt.
The three largest risk factors that contribute to a teen’s wrongful death behind the wheel are as follows:
- Teen Drivers: Nearly 54% of all car crash fatalities involved children or teens who were riding with a teenage driver.
- High-Speed Roads: More than 75% of all fatal crashes occur on roads with speed limits in excess of 45 miles per hour.
- Failure to Wear Seatbelt: An estimated 66% of teen passenger deaths involve failure to wear a seatbelt at the time of the crash.