Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Teen dies in Jeep crash in national forest

MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – A Santa Rosa teenager riding in a Jeep in the Mendocino National Forest on Thursday died after the vehicle overturned.

The 17-year-old female, whose name was not released, was riding in the rear of a 2000 Jeep Wrangler driven by 20-year-old Sunnyvale resident Nathan Winter, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Tanguay.

Tanguay said another teen, a 16-year-old female from Forestville, was in the Jeep's right front seat.

Winter was driving westbound on Mendocino National Forest Road No. M-10 at an unknown speed when the crash occurred at noon on Thursday, Tanguay said.

For unknown reasons, Winter turned his gaze away from the road ahead, then felt the Jeep start to travel up an embankment. Tanguay said Winter aggressively applied the vehicle's brakes and turned the steering wheel in an attempt to correct the Jeep's path.  

Winter lost control of the Jeep as it traveled up a steep embankment and overturned, causing fatal injuries to the unrestrained rear passenger, Tanguay said.

REACH responded and transported the other female juvenile passenger – who also was unrestrained – to Sutter Lakeside Hospital, according to Tanguay.

Winter suffered minor injuries and was not transported. Tanguay said alcohol and drugs are not considered to be factors in the collision.

This collision is still under investigation by CHP Officer Nick Powell.

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