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14-year-old backs car into storm drain, gravely injured

June 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 14-year-old girl, who was behind the wheel of a car, is on life support Wednesday after crashing in Sunland.

The girl and an 18-year-old passenger were in a church parking lot following a youth group meeting Wednesday night, when officials say the 14-year-old accidentally put the car in reverse. The car backed up, went through a fence and over a ledge into a storm drain near Oro Vista Avenue and Hillrose Street.

"It's unclear how that event occurred, was it a planned event? Were they messing around?" questioned David Mascarenas, watch commander at the LAPD Valley Traffic Division.

Officials say the 14-year-old is in grave condition. The passenger sustained minor injuries.

Police said the Ford Edge involved in the accident belonged to the 18-year-old passenger. The 18-year-old could now face charges for allowing an underage driver to operate the vehicle.

As crews try to pick up the pieces, the church won't discuss many details.

"I think it would be best for us not to really go beyond saying this was a tragic event and we're all deeply saddened," said Ryan Low, a member of Sunland Neighborhood Church.

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