Laura, the kids, and I are very close friends with another family in our neighborhood- Jose and Julia and their children. In fact, they are our closest friends. They have a daughter Aly's age and a son GT's age plus two teenagers. We spend many a weekend on the patio at each others' homes grillin,' talkin,' and laughin'.
Very early Tuesday morning, July 5th, Julia's fifteen year old daughter, Renee was spending the night at a friend's house when some other teens from a few doors down needed to drive some other friends home. We don't know how Renee ended up in the car.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote this story:
Unlicensed teen was apparent driver in SUV crash, police say
by Jim Adams and Matt McKinney, Star Tribune
A 15-year-old girl with only a driver's permit is believed to have been the driver of a sport-utility vehicle that rolled over on Galaxie Avenue in Apple Valley, sending five teens to the hospital, police said. Three other teenagers were not injured.
The apparent driver, Renee Marty, and passenger Kaitlyn Phillippi, 15, both of Eagan, remained in critical condition Wednesday evening at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul. Marty, who does not have a driver's license, was thrown from the vehicle and pinned beneath it when it rolled over, according to Apple Valley police.
Bryan Denzer, 16, of Apple Valley; Amanda Decker, 14, of Eagan, and Gregory Reimer, 15, of Eagan, were released Wednesday from Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
The three uninjured teens were George Spartak Awada, 16, of Eagan; Alexander Jeffrey Gould, 15, of Apple Valley, and Danielle Paige Lajamba, 15.
The crash remains under investigation, said Apple Valley police Capt. Jon Rechtzigel. The crash reports will be forwarded to the Dakota County attorney's office for possible charges, he added.
A driver using an instruction permit can drive only under the supervision of a licensed driver 21 years or older sitting in the front passenger seat, according to state law. All passengers under age 18 in a vehicle driven by someone with an instruction permit must wear seat belts.
The crash involved several factors that experts say are among the deadliest on the road when combined: an inexperienced driver apparently speeding in a sport-utility vehicle at night, with several unbelted teenage passengers.
State police Lt. Bob Meyerson said those factors make safe driving difficult, even for kids who are otherwise responsible.
"Even the good kids, the responsible kids, you give them enough of the ingredients and it adds up to bad things," he said..
It has been a very difficult several days for our dear friends and their daughter, and this will be a long slow process. Please say a prayer for Renee and her family, and also for Katie and her family.