Six agencies rescue 10 teens from SUV crash
Officials said all of the responding agencies worked extremely well together
By Jason Anderson
MANTECA, Calif. — Ten teenagers and young adults were injured after a day at the river Tuesday when their sport utility vehicle rolled over on a rural Manteca road, authorities said.
The accident occurred about 5:20 p.m. on Austin Road, just south of Moffat Boulevard and Highway 99, officials said. When fire crews arrived, they found the SUV on its roof and blocking the roadway, authorities said.
Emergency responders found 10 victims whose ages ranged from early teens to early 20s, officials said. Three of the victims had been ejected from the SUV and two were trapped under the vehicle, authorities said. Specialized extrication tools were used to lift the SUV off one of the victims, authorities said.
Officials enacted mass casualty incident protocols and alerted all emergency rooms in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, officials said. The victims were taken to trauma centers in both counties. Three were listed in critical condition, Manteca Fire Capt. Sterrie McLeod said.
The Manteca Police Department is still investigating to determine the cause of the accident, officials said. The victims were returning from a section of the Stanislaus River in Ripon, authorities said. Police have not said whether they believe alcohol played a role in the crash, but none of the vehicle's 10 occupants were wearing seatbelts, officials said.
One of the occupants, 18-year-old Justice Pantoja, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with an unrelated case, according to jail records.
The Lathrop Manteca Rural Fire District, the Ripon Fire Protection District, the Manteca District Ambulance Service, American Medical Response, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office and the Manteca Police Department all responded to the scene, authorities said.
"It was a very critical call," McLeod said. "Everybody worked well together. We had multiagency cooperation. Everyone worked together to handle the patients properly, and they were all treated in the proper order. As bad as it was, it was a well-controlled scene, and we were able to provide the appropriate care."
(c)2013 The Record (Stockton, Calif.)
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