Date: Oct. 22, 2009

Victim: Sage Janesch

Location: Tucson

Model: 2005 Toyota Prius

Details: Sage Janesch, 18, was returning home after visiting his pregnant girlfriend when his 2005 Prius jumped a curb on a winding freeway onramp and struck a support beam beneath Interstate 10. The impact tore off the car's roof and killed Janesch instantly, the teen's father said.

Even though the Prius has not been recalled, Steve Janesch said he believed a defect may have contributed to the crash that killed his son, a former high school wrestler and rifle marksman who had aspired to become a police officer.

"It's a very dangerous, tight corner that my son was very well aware of. It would have been insane for him to speed through it," the father said. "I think the car accelerated and Sage couldn't handle it."

After Toyota recalled some of its models for acceleration issues, the teen's parents asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate to determine whether a defect in the Prius contributed to the crash.

"We're hoping they will go and pull the parts off and see what was going on. We don't want anybody else to die from this. This was our only son," Steve Janesch said. "We can't sue. We're both schoolteachers. We can't afford to do that."

Sage Janesch's parents,who both work at an elementary school in Vail, Ariz., said, "We would like everyone to know that our son was also an organ donor and that his selfless act has given new hope and life to several people including a woman in California who received his beautiful heart."

-- Stuart Pfeifer, Carol J. Williams and Robert Faturechi Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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