Students injured in car accident

Three teens taken to hospital

Reporter staff

Police said two Island teens were very seriously injured in a one-car rollover accident early Sunday morning in the 5300 block of East Mercer Way.

Five teens, four boys and a girl, all students at Mercer Island High School, were in a Range Rover when it rolled at roughly 2:30 a.m. coming to rest on its roof. Three students climbed out of the car but two had to be extricated.

The driver of the car was 16, said Sgt. Leslie Burns, of the Mercer Island Police Department. ``There was some indication that drugs and alcohol may have been involved and that speed was a factor in the accident,'' she said.

Authorities would not release the names of the students by Reporter press time.

Mercer Island Police were the first to respond and a total of 20 firefighters from Mercer Island and Bellevue were called to the scene. They found the vehicle had rolled onto its roof after reportedly losing control on S.E. 53rd Street as the vehicle was headed east towards East Mercer Way, authorities said. Two boys were taken to Harborview and another boy was taken to Overlake.

``Three had injuries that required for them to at least go to the hospital. The other two probably had minor injuries,'' said Ron Elsoe, public safety director. ``One or two suffered what were believed to be serious injuries.''

Elsoe said the driver of the car was given a blood alcohol test and an investigation into the crash could take as long as a week. He said that weather could have played a factor.

``Saturday night everything was pretty wet,'' he said. ``I'm sure the roads were wet.''

Police officers on the scene also said that the vehicle, a newer model Land Rover, may have saved the passengers and driver from more serious injury due to the multiple airbags that went off during the crash.

The roadway, S.E. 53rd Street, remained closed for several hours Sunday due to the ongoing accident reconstruction and investigation.

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