Police release name of teen killed in crash

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Reported by: Janai Norman
Updated: 6/20/2013 3:49 pm Published: 6/20/2013 7:48 am

A tragic car crash killed a 15-year-old on his birthday in East Tulsa early Thursday morning.

Police identified the teen as Caleb Elliott.  They said he attended Hale Junior High and was supposed to start Hale High School in the fall.

Police said a pick-up truck hit a car in the intersection at 11th and Memorial. The accident happened just before 5 a.m. The driver of the car and the truck were both taken to area hospitals.

Officers said the 15-year-old passenger inside the car was killed, it was his 15th birthday. The mother of the teen said she knew the car had problems but hadn't gotten it fixed yet. 

She said she'd tried several times to get the car to start and it finally started when they were in the intersection, just before the accident.

Corporal Brian Collum said, “She put her emergency flashers on and when she was attempting to re-start her car, it inadvertently rolled into the intersection on a red light.”

That's when police say a black pickup truck t-boned the car, injuring the driver, and killing her son.

“She has suffered quite a bit of trauma,” Cpl. Collum said of the woman’s condition. “Today's his birthday, yeah, which was very tough on some of the guys out here.”

Initially officers were investigating whether someone had run a red light, or whether speed or alcohol was involved, but they don't think that’s what happened.

FOX23 News has reported summer, and the time between Memorial and Labor Day is known as the 100 deadliest days on roadways because of increased traffic and likelihood for accidents.

Corporal Collum says a fatal crash like this one is rare.

“It's rare that we have one when there's not a whole lot of vehicles on the roadway.”

And in this case, Fox23 News found out both drivers, and the passenger, were all wearing seatbelts.

“This is one of those rare cases where a seat belt is just not going to matter based on where the car was struck,” Cpl. Collum said. “I'm not saying don't where your seatbelt because 99 % of these [accidents] that I go on most of the fatalities are based on them not wearing their seat belt.”

We found out the driver of the pickup truck did give blood so officers could test for alcohol or drugs. They tell us he was cooperative and taken home.

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