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Car accidents are the primary cause of death for American teens, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Further, drivers 16 to 19 years old are involved in three times more fatal accidents than drivers 20 and older. The CDC identifies teens most at risk as males, teens with new licenses, and teenagers driving with teenage passengers.

A young man from Morris, Oklahoma, aged 18, died at the scene of a rollover crash in Okmulgee County on the afternoon of Jan. 8. He was reportedly a passenger in a pickup truck that was struck by a van.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the driver of the pickup, also an 18-year-old male, was ejected and trapped under the truck for about 30 minutes. The driver was transported to a Tulsa hospital, where he was admitted in critical condition. Another passenger, also a young man, aged 18, was admitted to the hospital with internal injuries.

The driver of the van also suffered internal injuries and was transported to the hospital.

The report from the highway patrol did not state whether any of the individuals involved in the crash were wearing seat belts, and the accident investigation is pending.

Family members who have lost a loved one in an auto accident may have grounds for a claim of wrongful death. Legal action can never bring back a lost loved one, but sometimes a wrongful death claim is the surest way of receiving compensation for medical bills and other costs resulting from a negligent driver’s actions. Families faced with this kind of situation may want to speak with an attorney who can assess the facts of the case and help determine the best course of action.

Source: Tulsa World, “Morris teenager killed in Okmulgee crash,” Dylan Goforth, Jan. 9, 2014

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Teen Drivers: Fact Sheet,” Oct. 2, 2012