New Years car accident hits close to home

On New Year’s Day, a tragic crash killed a teenager, Daniela Benavides Sanmiguel, and injured two others, Isais Medina and MAST student, senior Mathieu Saldana.
At approximately 7:45 a.m., Medina, the driver of a silver Porsche, smashed through three trees, a light pole and a residential gate.
The three passengers were returning from a New Year’s Eve party when they crashed.
Benavides, an 18 year old student at Pepperdine University, was in the beackseat. She died on the scene of the crash. Benavides had been visiting her family for the holidays.
The two male victims, 17 year old Medina and Saldana were transported to Ryder Trauma Center. Saldana is currently recovering from a scar on his head, as well as a concussion.
Medina was behind the wheel when he lost control on the curve of a road. Both boys are recovering from head injuries. Officers are investigating whether seat belts were worn.
The Beacon contacted the Key Biscayne Police Department for more information. According to data provided by the Key Biscayne Police Department, in 2013 alone, 36,180 Florida teens were drivers in a car crash.
In 2014, the number raised 7.23 percent to 38,795 crashes. Teen driver fatalities also went up from 2013’s 57 deaths to 2014’s 71 deaths, a 24.56 percent increase.
In 2013, 15,641 total Florida crashes were committed by suspected drunk drivers. Of that total, 653 were teen drivers. 215 drunk drivers were injured, nine were killed and 14 were in a crash that had a fatality.
In 2014, drivers aged 15 to 19 represented 10 percent of suspected drunk drivers in crashes between the ages of 15 to 29 in Florida. In that same group, nine percent were in crashes were there were fatalities, and nine percent of the crashes were fatal for the driver.
A total of 29 crashes involved 15 and 16 years olds suspected of driving under the influence in 2014, but there were no fatalities.
SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) is a MAST club that advocates against underage drinking and drug use, in hope to prevent accidents like these.
SADD focuses on the education, awareness and prevention of substance abuse by giving information about alcohol and common drugs.
They provide prevention programming to help teens become role models in their respective schools to support others to stand against the use of these substances.