SEATTLE - A survivor of a crash that killed two teens and injured three others said they had been drag racing with another car before slamming into a telephone pole in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood.
Authorities said the car the teens were riding in crashed into the pole at the intersection of Eighth Avenue South and South Cambridge Street around 8 p.m. Sunday when the driver lost control on a curve.
Seattle police Detective Renee Witt said the 16-year-old Burien boy who was driving was killed instantly. He was identified by his family as Mario Luis Martinez.
A 13 -year-old girl who was a passenger, identified by friends as Lucie Hernandez, later died of her injuries at Harborview Medical Center.
A surviving passenger of the crashed car, 16-year-old Gilbert Camacho, told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Dubois the crash was the result of a drag race with another car.
Seattle police have not said if another car was involved. If so, there could be a criminal investigation for racing and leaving the scene of a crash.
Camacho, who pulled up at the crash scene as a KIRO 7 News crew was setting up, said he was unaware Martinez had died. He said he only knew that Hernandez was killed.
Camacho said he was sitting in the backseat on the passenger’s side when the car slammed into a telephone pole with such force that it broke in half.
He scraped his face, broke one arm and injured his other.
Camacho said he blacked out after the crash, but remembers getting out of the car and walking to his nearby home. He then went to the hospital.
Two other passengers were listed in critical and serious condition at a hospital late Monday morning.
The car that crashed belonged to Martinez’s stepfather. Martinez had only had his driver's license since September.
A relative of Martinez told Dubois she had a message for inexperienced teenage drivers like her nephew.
“You don't necessarily have to be under the influence of anything. It can happen in an instant," said Perla Sanchez.
Seattle police it was too soon to know if Martinez had been drinking. Camacho told Dubois the teens were at the Southcenter Mall before the crash and had not been drinking.