Tuesday, 16 July 2024

Report: Teen's death resulted from car crash

LAKEPORT – A 14-year-old Kelseyville boy died as the result of a car accident, not a July 4 gang-related assault, authorities reported Wednesday.


Lakeport Police Chief Kevin Burke reported that the Wednesday autopsy of the teen, who died Sunday, revealed that his death resulted from injuries he sustained in a Friday car wreck.


The 14-year-old gang assault victim was one of four teenagers riding in a car along Bell Hill Road, as Lake County News previously reported.


A 15-year-old Lower Lake boy was driving the car, went through a stop sign at a high rate of speed and ended up going off the road and into a tree. The three male teens fled the scene, leaving behind a 16-year-old female who claimed to be driving.


On Saturday night, the 14-year-old and another male juvenile who had been in the car showed up at the hospital to seek treatment. The 14-year old died early the next morning,


The 15-year-old boy who was driving the car was arrested Sunday morning for felony hit-and-run, according to the California Highway Patrol.


The car accident came two days after the incident in which the teen was assaulted by a gang of juvenile males as he walked along 11th Street on the evening of July 4. Lakeport Police said it was a gang-related incident.


Police have since arrested a 16-year-old teen who is a documented member of the Nortenos street gang for the assault.


Because of the sudden manner of the boy's death, Burke had been concerned that the gang assault case might turn into a homicide investigation.


But with the autopsy report's conclusions, Burke said, “We're going to investigate the original attack as an assault with a deadly weapon,” which was his department's original course.


“Even though the victim has now passed away we still have a strong case and are going to continue pursuing that investigation,” he added.


Burke said previously that he has four department members assigned to the case, and they are aggressively looking at new leads, which could lead to more arrests.


The 16-year-old charged with assault with a deadly weapon will undergo a fitness hearing in three weeks in which the District Attorney's Office will argue that he be tried as an adult, said Burke.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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