Getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage that many teenagers look forward to achieving. However, both parents and teens should be aware of one vital statistic: auto accidents are the leading cause of death for teens between ages 15 and 20. In 2016, the last year that teen driving statistics were available, it was reported that 10% of all teen driving fatalities nationwide involved distracted driving. In those accidents, 51% of all fatalities were the driver themselves. Furthermore, teens are one of the age groups least likely to use seatbelts. In accidents where seatbelt usage was determined, 47% of young drivers who were killed were unrestrained when the crash occurred.
The Citrus County Chronicle reports that a young man and a teenager were killed and two other teens seriously injured in a crash.
The crash occurred last Wednesday on East Stage Coach Trail just west of the intersection with Brittle Road in southern Citrus County.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 18-year-old Franklin Delano Cooper was driving a 2016 Ford Focus west on Stage Coast Trail at around 11:34 p.m. He lost control of the vehicle, which left the roadway and struck a tree. The impact caused the vehicle to be split into two pieces.
Cooper and 17-year-old Leilani Ho’oponoaikaine Anderson were both killed in the accident, though Anderson succumbed to her injuries shortly after arriving at the hospital.
A 17-year-old who was in the vehicle suffered from critical injuries while another 14-year-old suffered from serious injuries in the crash. Both have been hospitalized.