Teen driver in fiery California crash that killed five lacked license

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 06, 2014 1:07 PM

(Reuters) - A 16-year-old boy behind the wheel in a fiery Los Angeles-area car crash that killed five teenage passengers over the weekend did not have a driver's license, the California Highway Patrol said on Monday.

Bradley Morales, who survived the crash, was driving a BMW on a highway in Irvine early on Saturday when the car hit a guard rail, dipped into an embankment and erupted in flames, California Highway Patrol spokeswoman Denise Quesada said.

Five teens were found charred inside the vehicle, she said. Morales, who investigators found some 50 yards away, was taken to an Orange County hospital and was in serious but stable condition after surgery, Quesada said.

The cause of the crash was under investigation though alcohol was not thought to be a factor, she added. The teens were believed to have visited a Halloween-themed event at the Knott's Berry Farm amusement park in Buena Park.

"More than likely, this was a case of the driver not having a driver's license and the inexperience," Quesada said.

The crash also ignited a small brush fire that was quickly extinguished.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Susan Heavey)