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3 deadly Jacksonville-area crashes in less than week involving teen drivers

Reckless driving has killed three people in less than a week across Northeast Florida. In each instance a teen driver was behind the wheel.
Reckless driving has killed three people in less than a week across Northeast Florida. In each instance a teen driver was behind the wheel.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 17-year-old passenger who died Monday night in a crash on Monument Road marked a third deadly crash in less than a week in Northeast Florida that involved a teenager behind the wheel.

Detectives say the 16-year-old driver of a Nissan 350Z was traveling at a high rate of speed and lost control.

In Nassau County, investigators said a 19-year-old Fernandina Beach man was seriously hurt and a 71-year-old woman was killed in a crash Sunday afternoon. Troopers said the woman had a green light, but the teen driver failed to stop and struck her car.

Last Wednesday, an 18-year-old woman was killed in a crash when her car collided with a pickup truck on Old Kings Road. Investigators say speed was a factor.

Jason Dominguez owns Jax Driving School, which has been open since 1999. He’s sat in the passenger seat teaching a countless number of teenagers how to be a safe driver.

“We work with them, following distance, keeping your eyes on the road, checking your mirrors -- all of the safety you need,” Dominguez said.

He recommends parents teach their teens the basics and then said to set ground rules.

“As simple as don’t let them drive with friends in the car -- that’s kind of like the number one for crashes for teens. No friends in the car for at least a year,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez also recommended installing devices that can prevent teens from using their phone unless they’re parked, or something to monitor their speed. The car they’re driving can also make a difference.

“In my opinion, I’d say a low power vehicle,” Dominguez said. “The bigger, the better.”

Another important reminder -- parents are role models for teen drivers. Practice what you advise of your children.


About the Author:

Lauren Verno anchors the 9 a.m. hour of The Morning Show and is the consumer investigative reporter weekday afternoons.