Unbelted 16-year-old killed in Scott County crash, 3 teens injured

A 16-year-old boy was killed, and three other teenagers were injured in a single-vehicle crash in Scott County Thursday night. 

The Scott County Sheriff’s Office said just before 8:45 p.m., deputies responded to a single-vehicle crash on the 18000 block of Valley View Drive in Sand Creek Township. 

Authorities said a Jeep Wrangler was traveling southbound on a gravel portion of the road when the driver lost control on a sharp curve and left the roadway. The vehicle struck a power pole anchor cable and flipped onto its side. 

A 16-year-old passenger was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash, according to authorities.  

The 17-year-old driver and two 16-year-old passengers suffered non-life-threatening injuries. They were all wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. Authorities did not release the name of those involved but said they are all from Jordan, Minnesota. 

"Last night's tragic car crash, claiming the life of a young passenger who was not wearing a seatbelt, is a painful reminder of the importance of this simple safety measure," said Sheriff Luke Hennen in a statement. "As we enter the summer season with increased activity and more drivers on the road, especially during the Memorial Day weekend filled with celebrations and high school graduation festivities, it is crucial that we exercise caution and prioritize safety. I urge parents to have open and honest conversations with their teens about the importance of driving safely and always wearing seatbelts. Let's work together to prevent such tragedies and ensure the well-being of our young drivers and passengers on our roads."

Alcohol or drugs are not believed to be a factor in the crash at this time. The incident remains under investigation and will be sent to the Scott County Attorney’s Office to be reviewed for charges.