Two Northern California teens are being treated for serious injuries after a joyride in an exotic SUV ended in a fiery vehicle crash Thursday night on Interstate 80 near Donner Lake and the Lake Tahoe area.
Authorities said they do not know how a 14-year-old Truckee boy and a 15-year-old Olympic Valley girl were able to obtain the 2017 Maserati Levante, but neither had a license to drive. It was also immediately unclear who owned the vehicle, which was destroyed in the fire.
According to California Highway Patrol Truckee spokesman Officer Carlos Perez, the pair were driving the SUV at high speed when it crashed into a guard rail on Interstate 80.
The vehicle had traveled over 100 mph, the CHP said, before the incident at 11:22 p.m. in the eastbound lanes just before the Donner Pass Road exit.
In its collision report, CHP officers said the boy was behind the wheel when he lost control of the SUV. The vehicle, which retails for about $75,000, careered into a metal guard rail, sending it through the right front passenger door where the girl was seated. The vehicle then caught fire.
Both teens were able to escape the Maserati after the crash, but the girl “collapsed near the front of the burning vehicle due to her injuries.”
The CHP says an off-duty police officer from Redwood City in the South Bay had stopped to help after the crash. He and the first CHP officer to arrive at the scene dragged the girl away to safety as the vehicle became engulfed in flames. More CHP officers and Truckee fire personnel then arrived to assist.
Both teens were airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento where the boy was being treated for severe burns and the girl was being treated for burns and internal injuries. Their conditions were unknown Friday.
Perez says the CHP is still investigating the incident, but weather conditions, alcohol and drugs were not a factor in the crash. It’s unknown if the incident will yield criminal charges.