Car carrying teens flips onto train tracks

Three occupants seriously injured
May 26, 2008 4:33:17 PM PDT
Three 15-year-olds were hospitalized after their car flipped onto freight train tracks during a joyride through Bergenfield Monday morning.Apparently, the driver took his family's 2007 Volkswagen Passat without his parents' knowledge sometime overnight. He and his two friends, one 15-year-old and the other turning 16 tomorrow, then went tearing through the town at a high rate of speed.

Police say as the driver approached the CSX tracks at West Clinton Avenue just before 3:30 a.m., he lost control of the vehicle. The Passat left the roadway and flipped through the air, crashing onto freight train tracks.

The rear passenger was tossed from the vehicle. Authorities say both his legs were broken and he was being treated at Hackensack University Medical Center.

The driver and his front-seat passenger were being treated at the same hospital for minor injuries.

Authorities say the driver was given a blood test for alcohol, but the results will not be back for several weeks.

The driver will be charged as a juvenile with motor vehicle violations. If he was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the charges could be upgraded, but he would still be charged as a juvenile, officials say.

However, police say his parents will not face criminal charges because they did not know their son took the car. They may have not been home when the car was taken, and only learned of the crash from a call from the hospital.

The teen driver's 22-year-old brother reportedly runs a nightlife party company in Bergenfield. Business cards for his party service were scattered across the train tracks.

Police taped off the train crossing, and West Clinton Avenue was closed for hours for the investigation.

Freight trains were temporarily stopped through the area. No commuter trains were affected.