Late Sunday night, the Thousand Oaks Police Department responded to a serious traffic collision on the 300 Block of Massey Street that could have taken place in any town and serves as a good teachable moment for both teenagers as well as drivers of all ages.
Several juveniles (16-17 year olds, male and female) were in the process of vandalizing a home using paint balls and eggs. They are believed to be retaliating for similar activities at their home earlier that evening. One 16-year old girl was standing in the rear bed of a pickup truck when someone yelled to the driver to take off. A second car was directly behind the pickup, and when the pickup truck driver accelerated, the girl lost her balance and fell out of the pickup.
The driver of the second car didn’t see the girl, drove over her, and dragged her under the car for over 100 feet. The pickup truck driver quickly stopped, and once the car driver realized that he drove over the girl, he stopped as well.
Emergency personnel responded, and the girl was taken by ambulance to Los Robles Hospital. She has suffered serious injuries and is scheduled to transfer to another hospital for further treatment. The investigation is continuing by the Thousand Oaks Police Department.
STTOP was created over 4 years ago. A number of local cities in both LA and Ventura counties currently participate in STTOP to help educate teens and their parents around issues related to teen driving.
From LA County Sheriff:
“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people 15 to 20 years of age, causing roughly one-third of all fatalities in this age group. Last year, over 6,000 young people ages 15-20 died in motor vehicle crashes. Even though this age group makes up only 7% of the driving population, they are involved in 14% of all traffic fatalities. Teens were also involved in more than two million non-fatal traffic crashes last year.
“Sheriff’s Teen Traffic Offender Program (STTOP for short) is an innovative intervention program developed by the Lost Hills/Malibu Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, to educate young drivers and their parents.
“It is reckless behavior and other bad driving practices that STTOP hopes to correct. The program is designed to intervene when a young driver displays poor judgment or dangerous driving behavior. Aside from following up on collision reports and citations issued, STTOP encourages citizens to call in and report dangerous teen drivers. Too many times, patrol officers are not present to see the dangerous driving. The inability to catch the offender in the act ties the hands of law enforcement, which cannot act on a Vehicle Code infraction they do not witness. Often the youthful driver screeches his tires, races another car or does other dangerous maneuvers, and then vanishes before the patrol units can arrive.”
For more information about http://www.sttop.net/