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Charlotte teen in custody after fatal car crash

By Elisabeth Arriero
earriero@charlotteobserver.com

A Charlotte teenager was charged with driving while impaired in connection with an accident that killed one of his passengers.

According to police, the 15-year-old was traveling inbound on North Tryon Street near Caprington Avenue around 12:23 a.m. Sunday, when his 1992 Honda Civic crossed the center line and drove into oncoming lanes, Charlotte Mecklenburg police said in a statement.

The car, which police said was speeding, ran off the roadway and struck a utility pole, shearing it into two pieces.

Passenger Tristan Robert Nichols was taken to Carolinas Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He was pronounced dead around 4:20 a.m.

Fabiola Perez and Christopher Camarena, two other passengers, were also taken to CMC with minor injuries, police said.

Speed and alcohol were contributing factors in the crash, police said.

Detectives have charged the male driver, who was not identified, with driving while impaired, driving after consuming under 21 years of age, felony death by vehicle, felony serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving and driving without a license.

He was taken to a juvenile detention facility on Sunday, police said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or Detective R.C. Gormican at 704-432-2169.

Arriero: 704-804-2637; Twitter: @earriero
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