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Fatal Crash Charges Up in Air

Investigation continues into a Yorba Linda wreck that killed a 12-year-old girl. Both drivers had been drinking, police say.

February 08, 2005|David Reyes | Times Staff Writer

Authorities have not yet decided whether to file charges in a car crash in Yorba Linda on Sunday that killed a 12-year-old girl and injured five others. Both drivers had been drinking, police said.

Whether they had consumed enough alcohol to impair their driving had not been determined, said Lt. Martin Needham, a Brea police spokesman.

Christina Marie Rice of Yorba Linda died when the driver of the 2001Toyota she was riding in turned from Paseo de Las Palomas onto Paseo Alto, colliding with a 2003 Volkswagen about 8 p.m.

The Volkswagen was traveling at 45 mph, about 10 mph above the speed limit, police said.

On Monday, Christina's classmates at Travis Ranch School in Yorba Linda took the news hard.

"This was a young seventh-grader who was well liked; she had a lot of friends," said Rosemary Gladden, a spokeswoman for the Placentia-Yorba Linda School District.

"She was a really good student and was involved in choir. She was seen by her classmates as a cheerleader because she was always willing to cheer other people up."

Principal Larry Mauzey visited each of Christina's classrooms Monday morning. The district provided counselors for students and staff.

Christina was with her friend, Megan Forell, 12, in a car driven by Megan's mother, Sheri Forell, 46, of Yorba Linda. Mother and daughter were taken to a local hospital. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known. Christina, who was in the front passenger seat, died at the scene, police said.

The driver of the Volkswagen, Phillip Michael Edwards, 19, of Yorba Linda, was also injured, as were his two passengers, Scotty William Sexton, 19, and Vincent Patrick Potalivo, 18, both of Yorba Linda. They had just left a Super Bowl party when the crash occurred. All three were taken to local hospitals with unknown injuries.

Neither driver was cited nor arrested, and the investigation was continuing, police said.

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