SARATOGA – One young man died and two were injured when their vehicle ran off Highway 9, plummeted down an embankment and crashed into a tree, the California Highway Patrol reported.
The car then burst into flames, Officer Ross Lee said.
The 17-year-old driver was partially ejected but was pinned between the vehicle and the tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
His identity has not yet been released.
The two passengers, a 17-year-old from Fremont and a 17-year-old from Santa Clara, managed to free themselves from the car and climb away. Their identities are not being released because they are minors.
They were transported to a hospital and treated for minor injuries.
The car had been traveling southbound on Highway 9 near Sanborn Road when it left the road. About 3:20 p.m. Friday, state parks workers driving on Highway 9 noticed fresh debris on the road, Lee said. They turned their vehicle around to check, and discovered two boys climbing up the embankment.
Arriving emergency workers tried to free the trapped driver from the vehicle, which was 50 feet downhill. It was not immediately known if he had been wearing a seat belt. The vehicle was so damaged by the fire that investigators could not immediately determine its make or model.
Lee said that the passengers told officers that they thought the driver had been driving a little fast downhill on the windy road. So far, investigators don’t believe drugs or alcohol were involved, Lee said.
In the aftermath of the crash, Highway 9 was closed for at least three hours Friday evening.