TOTTENVILLE, Staten Island (PIX11) — The family of a 15-year-old girl made a heartbreaking pivot on Monday from planning her Sweet 16 to planning the teen’s funeral.
Ashley Rodriguez was one of three teens killed in a Staten Island crash on Sunday night. Siblings Fernanda Gil, 16, and Jesie Gil, 15, also died in the crash. They were all passengers in a Mustang that collided with an SUV.
The Mustang, which was headed down Hylan Boulevard at an unsafe speed, collided with a 2017 GMC Yukon making a left turn onto Richard Avenue around 9 p.m., police said. The collision sparked a chain reaction that sent the Mustang into a tree, where it was split in half. The crash created a trail of destruction before stopping at a utility pole. Two of the passengers were not wearing seatbelts and were ejected from the vehicle.
The 16-year-old Mustang driver was critically injured. The teen was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Passengers in the Yukon suffered minor injuries. A 44-year-old woman, a 19-year-old woman, a 23-year-old man, and an 11-year-old girl were treated.
The driver of the Yukon — a 47-year-old man — was taken into custody at the scene for driving with a suspended license. Charges against him were still pending on Monday.
Drivers consistently go above the speed limit along Hylan Boulevard, residents told PIX11 News. The issue got the attention of the Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, who visited the scene Monday afternoon. Officials announced changes coming to Hylan, which will include installing bike lanes and left turn signals along a two-mile stretch.
“I cannot lose another life because of this problem,” Rodriguez said.
Details surrounding the fatal crash are still unraveling. It remains unclear if the 16-year-old boy driving the Mustang had a permit. In New York, the law prohibits teen drivers from driving with more than one person under the age of 21. Charges have not been filed.