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Grand Haven in shock after 5 girls injured in crash

Five Michigan High School students were sent to the hospital after a horrifying car accident on March 16. The accident occurred at about 11:30 a.m. The female students injured in the crash were all either 16 or 17 years old. Four of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash.

Law enforcement officials responding to the accident say that three of the girls in the backseat of the vehicle were thrown from the SUV during the accident. One of the girls landed on the pavement, while the other two were found on the road's grassy median. The front passenger was pinned in the vehicle after it overturned. The driver was able to extract herself from the vehicle.

Witnesses say that visibility was significantly reduced due to foggy conditions at the time of the crash. Those that came upon the scene were overwhelmed with the number of victims. One man said the victims were 100 yards from each other, indicating the severity of the accident. The driver, he said, was worried about her friends, and she was nearly hysterical. That bystander put blankets on the girls and then maintained spinal stabilization for one young woman. A doctor who had happened upon the wreck directed other first responder activities. Paramedics arrived about 15 minutes after the crash.

Bystanders say that a large number of people stopped to help, most of them were total strangers. The wreck was particularly heart-wrenching, said witnesses, because the girls were so young.

The school's principal said in an e-mail to parents that all of the girls are in stable condition at the hospital. Medical staff reported that one of the girls was still in critical condition, and ongoing evaluation continued for the driver of the vehicle.

Source: Grand Haven Tribune, "5 GHHS girls critically injured in I-96 crash," March 17, 2012

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