Girl, 16, Killed as Car Hits Hillside; Two Boys Injured

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 16-year-old girl from Orange died late Saturday when the car she was riding in struck a hillside and rolled over on Silverado Canyon Road, the California Highway Patrol said Sunday.

Two 16-year-old males, including the driver who lost control of his Nissan Sentra, survived the 11:05 p.m. accident with minor injuries, the CHP said.

The car's occupants, including the victim, identified by the county sheriff-coroner's office as Vanessa Vermillion, were not wearing seat belts, authorities said.

"The injuries would probably have been minor if all parties would have worn seat belts," CHP Officer Marty Huben said.

The names of the two boys were withheld because they are minors, CHP Dispatcher Glenn Davis said. Neither was immediately charged but police believe that the driver may have been intoxicated and are investigating.

"The driver was westbound on Silverado Canyon Road, east of Santiago Canyon Road, and (traveling) at approximately 45 miles per hour," Davis said. "Due to the driver's level of intoxication, he lost control of the vehicle, skidded across the eastbound lanes, struck the hillside and rolled over.

"The driver," Davis added, "was thrown into the rear seat during the rollover, due to no seat belts being worn."

Similarly, Davis said, Vermillion was not wearing seat belts and was "ejected from the right front seat and sustained fatal injuries." The third youth was ejected from a rear seat.

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