Teens going to graduation rehearsal critically injured in Oak Cliff crash




Posted on May 29, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Updated Thursday, May 29 at 11:52 PM

DALLAS -- It looked like no one could survive. The car was so badly mangled and glass so severely shattered, it was barely recognizable.

Three high school seniors were inside. All of them boys. All of them headed to their high school graduation rehearsal.

Witnesses say they were speeding through Oak Cliff, heading east on Illinois near Chalmers Street, next to another carload of classmates.

"The car that was wrecked was going like this," witness Sandra Carranco said as she moved her hand in a swerving motion. "When I seen it happened, I screamed. I got my phone and called 911."

Carranco said the vehicle the injured kids were in was swerving in and out of traffic next to a sports car that was traveling the same direction. Carranco said the car swerved, and ran up on the median, lost control, and hit a metal light pole. A semi truck was in the vicinity and the vehicle clipped it, too.

"Speed we do believe is a factor in this incident," said Dallas Police Sgt. Warren Mitchell.

Mitchell said he doesn't know if the semi driver was aware the crash had happened, but Carranco believes he was.

"The 18-wheeler picked up speed to pass it or race with it, or whatever it was," Carranco said. "He didn't slow down. He didn't stop. He just kept on going."

Three boys in the vehicle are all seniors at Dr. Wright Lassiter Jr. Early College, a DISD program that simultaneously gives high school students junior college credit.

Their graduation is Saturday at Adamson High School, and that's where they were headed. Rehearsal was at Adamson at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. The crash happened just after 2:30 p.m.

Friends say two of the injured teens have broken bones and are improving, but a third has critical injuries.

The principal of Lassiter immediately went to the hospital to be with families, a DISD spokesman said, while counselors went to the rehearsal to be with classmates.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com