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Texting cause of crash that injured teens, 2 still in hospital

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Posted at 1:26 PM, Sep 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-23 13:26:53-04

Texting may be the cause of a crash that injured five teens.

The Cleveland Metroparks Ranger Department report said on Sept. 10 just before 6 p.m., one of the teen girls, 17, was driving in the rain in a silver Dodge Neon southbound on Valley Parkway from Puritas Road with her sister and three others inside. The vehicle ran off the road, hit a rock and rolled over. It then came to a stop on its roof.

The entire vehicle was damaged. The department's report said the driver was going 44 mph in a 30 mph zone and was texting at the time of the crash. 

All five teens in the vehicle were injured and none of them were wearing seatbelts, according to the report. The driver and her sister, a 16-year-old sitting in the front passenger seat, were both severely injured and trapped in the vehicle. After the two were removed from the Dodge, they were taken to Fairview Hospital by Fairview Park and Rocky River Fire crews. 

Three other teens, ages 15-17, were able to get out of the vehicle on their own. A boy and girl with major injuries were taken by Rocky River Fire and North Olmsted Fire crews to Fairview Hospital. Another girl with minor injuries was treated at the scene.

According to Magnificat High School, the driver and her sister are students at the Catholic school. Magnificat said the girls are still in the intensive care unit at Fairview Hospital. 

Magnificat President Jenifer Hebda Halliday said the driver has not woken up, but the sister has opened her eyes and is talking. 

Halliday said the school's student life teams, counselors, and campus ministers have been made available to Magnificat students and their families.

Magnificat will host an all-day fundraiser on Oct. 16 for the family of the driver and her sister, Halliday said.

On the Magnificat High School Alumnae Facebook page, a post stated that the family did not want a Go Fund Me account set up. However, a Go Fund Me account was set up by Nora Eaton, of Cleveland. As of Friday, it has raised nearly $24,000.