15-Year-Old, Mom Charged in Fatal Car Crash

Police say she gave him the keys for a trip to the market
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2023 2:35 PM CDT
Cops: 15-Year-Old Caused Fatal Crash After Mom Gave Him Keys
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Vera Tikhonova)

A 45-year-old woman in Bakersfield, California, is facing a felony charge in connection with a car crash that happened while she was at home. Authorities say the woman gave her 15-year-old son the keys to her car for what she thought would be a quick trip to the market and back with nobody else in the vehicle, KGET reports. Instead, police say, the boy was seen driving recklessly at speeds of up to 100mph with three other teens in the vehicle. The teen crashed into a tree during a police chase, causing a serious head injury to his front-seat passenger, police say. The injured teen died in the hospital almost two weeks after the June 10 crash.

According to court records, the mother is facing a felony charge and a misdemeanor charge of allowing an unlicensed driver to operate a motor vehicle, SFGate reports. She was released on $20,500 bond and has a court date next month. Her son, who broke his right arm and right ankle in the crash, faces charges including vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, per KGET. According to court records, he admitted to investigators that he had been "dumb." (More car crash stories.)

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