Fatal Orange County Car Accident
Two teenagers – 18-year-old Mark Motley and 17-year-old Zachary Raffety – were tragically killed after their silver Mustang crashed in Trabuco Canyon the afternoon of April 7, 2009, The Orange County Register reports. Excessive speed and inexperience may have led to this fatal Orange County car accident, which occurred on the winding and treacherous Live Oak Canyon Road. According to California Highway Patrol officials, since 2007, there have been six people killed in fatal car crashes on Live Oak Canyon Road.
Officials say this fatal auto accident occurred after Motley, Rafferty and a third friend, 18, set out in two cars on a drive. The third teen, who was driving a Mazda, was following Motley’s Mustang. Authorities initially believed the cars were street racing, but have now determined that they were not racing. Motley lost control of the Mustang and crashed into a tree. CHP officials said the posted speed limit on Live Oak Canyon is 35 mph, but they believe based on the skid marks from the Mustang’s tires, that Motley was driving at a much higher rate of speed.
My heart goes out to the families of Mark Motley and Zachary Raffety for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. I offer my deepest sympathies to all who knew and loved these two young men. I also feel for the young man who witnessed this horrific car crash involving his friends. Please keep all of them in your prayers. Excessive speed and inexperience can turn out to be a lethal combination and this incident is a tragic reminder of that.
A recent study released by the Auto Club found that crashed involving teen drivers costs $2.8 billion annually in California and more than $34 billion nationwide. These numbers are based on 66,785 car accidents that occurred in 2006. That includes 177 fatalities and 27,689 personal injuries, according to the report.
Teens are at the highest risk for California car accidents and the main reasons for these car accidents are speed, inexperience and the use of alcohol or drugs. Studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control show that 40 percent of deaths among American teens are the result of a car accident. The risk of a car collision is highest among teens between ages 16 and 19. Members of this age group are 400 percent more likely to be involved in a car accident than any other age group! Teens are also more likely than any other age group to speed, drive intoxicated or ride with an intoxicated driver.
In this case, the dangerous roadway could have been one of the factors that led to the crash. I would urge the governmental agency in charge of maintaining this roadway to look into installing safety measures or adding more signage and stepping up enforcement on this roadway so such tragedies can be prevented in the future. As parents, it is also important that we remind our teenagers about the dangers of excessive speed and drunk driving. Please drive safely.