14-Year-Old Student Killed in Rollover Crash, Driver Arrested

After a rollover crash left a 14-year-old La Serna High School student dead and four others injured Tuesday near the Whittier campus, the driver of the SUV was arrested, according to the Whittier Police Department.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office identified the student killed as Ivette Macias, 14, a Whittier resident. She was just shy of her 15th birthday.

The SUV, with six people inside, crashed around 11:20 a.m. in the 8400 block of Villaverde Drive, according to Whittier police Officer John Scoggins.

"I looked out and I saw the car flipped over and this one girl was screaming," Jay Lee said.

Lee witnessed the wreck, and called 911.

"Two were unconscious in the car and one was ejected," Lee said. 

There was no immediate word on the cause of the crash.

"It’s a significant accident. It’s one that none of us like to respond to, especially with the fatality involved," John Scoggins, Whittier police, said.

Police said the 14-year-old girl died in the crash and the other five occupants were injured when the driver of the speeding SUV lost control and veered onto the sidewalk, hitting a large mailbox.

The driver was identified by Whittier police as 19-year-old Daniel Vaquez of Whittier.

He was released from the hospital and booked on suspicion of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

Loring Davies, assistant superintendent of Educational Services for the Whittier Union High School District, confirmed that the person who died was a student at La Serna, as were four of the injured. The other injury was the adult driver of the vehicle, Davies said in a statement posted on the school's website.

"The district is working with the Whittier Police Department to determine the details surrounding the accident," Davies said. "Given the gravity of the situation, students have been allowed to respond to texts/calls from parents to confirm that they are safe. The district will work with LSHS to ensure counselors are available to all students and staff through the week."

The severity of the other students' injuries was not immediately known.

Police initially said two of the injuries were considered critical.

School officials said grief counselors would be on standby after the crash left many stunned. 

"They were just in shock themselves," Lee said, referring to the injured victims. "They really couldn’t speak at all."

Contact Us