In the space of 39 days this autumn, three automobile crashes resulted in the deaths of six Charles County teenagers since October.  Six other people were seriously injured in accidents involving teen drivers. 

Six teenagers have died in car crashes since October.  The needless loss of these young lives has devastated families, schools and the community. Not all crashes result in death, however. Many crash victims suffer severe trauma injuries that permanently alter their lives.

The following is a breakdown of the recent teen crashes investigated by the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, including those that resulted in death or serious injuries. Speed and driver error were contributing factors in all the crashes.

On Oct. 21, a 16-year-old girl was critically injured in a single-vehicle crash on Dubois Road. She was wearing a seatbelt.

On Oct. 27, a 16-year-old boy was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Billingsley Road. He was wearing a seatbelt. The wet roads and speed appeared to be major factors in the accident.

On Nov. 3, a 17-year-old boy was seriously injured in a single-vehicle crash on St. Charles Parkway near Northgate Place.  He wore a seatbelt.  The force of the impact tore the vehicle in half.

On Nov. 6, the crash on Dentsville Road instantly killed three La Plata High School students.  A fourth died from his injuries in hospital that night.  The fifth passenger in the vehicle was critically injured.  None of the teens wore seatbelts and the driver’s provisional license made it illegal for him to carry passengers under 18 years old.

On Nov. 28, the crash on Poplar Hill Road that killed a Thomas Stone sophomore also critically injured the teen driver and seriously injured another teen passenger.  They were all wearing seatbelts.

“Charles County is faced with a real problem…and only a community-wide effort will solve it,” said Sheriff Rex Coffey.  “The Sheriff’s Office vows to do whatever it takes to ensure another family does not suffer the loss of a loved one, another school does not suffer the loss of a student and another teenager’s life is not cut tragically short.”

In response to this alarming trend, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office is increasing its traffic safety enforcement among the teen population.  CCSO hopes these efforts will make a difference in the prevention of such needless deaths.

“We need to make a concerted effort to reach these kids and it is not something law enforcement can do alone,” said Sheriff Coffey.  “We are working with Superintendent Richmond and school officials to combat this problem and get kids to real