- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 5, 2004

Investigators suspect speed and alcohol were factors in a crash Friday night that killed a Virginia teenager on Fairfax Station Road, the most recent in a spate of traffic deaths in the region involving young drivers.

Lauren Sausville, 16, was trying to catch up with a male friend she was following when she lost control of her 1999 Ford Explorer, said Mary Ann Jennings, spokeswoman for the Fairfax County Police Department.

The 17-year-old male friend told police he was waiting at a stop sign at Colchester Road at about 11 a.m. when he saw Lauren lose control of the vehicle while coming over a hill. The teenager, whom police have not identified, said the vehicle veered off the road, hit an embankment, flipped and skipped until the roof of the vehicle hit his vehicle.

Police charged the boy with driving while intoxicated after interviewing him but did not think his driving caused the crash.

Miss Jennings said investigators are awaiting the results of blood-alcohol tests.

“Her father even told her last night, ‘Don’t drink,’” Lauren’s stepmother, Debbie Sausville, told WTTG-TV (Channel 5) yesterday. “She said she was the designated driver. At 16, there’s no such thing.”

Lauren lived in the 3700 block of Center Way in Fairfax and attended Fairfax High School.

Two Loudoun County teenagers were killed March 27 when a 15-year-old crashed a pickup truck in which they were passengers.

Nicholas Pendola, 16, and Anthony Cibelli-Mason, 17, were ejected from the truck’s cargo area and died at the scene. The driver had applied for a learner’s permit but did not have one at the time of the crash.

In Montgomery County, 10 persons this year have died in eight collisions involving drivers younger than 21. Five deaths occurred over a single weekend in September.

Two of the teens died in a Sept. 25 crash in Burtonsville after their speeding vehicle hit a light pole at Route 198 and McKnew Road, county police said.

Toxicology tests found that the 17-year-old driver, Robert Middaugh, had a blood alcohol level that was twice the legal limit, and his 17-year-old front-seat passenger, Michelle Timchalk, also was drunk, police said. A back-seat passenger was also injured in the crash.

On Nov. 13, a Jeep driven by 16-year-old Sarkis Nazarian of Potomac ran off the road and hit a tree in the 12500 block of Travilah Road, police said. He was killed and two passengers, both 16-year-old boys, were treated at the scene. Speed and alcohol were factors in the crash. Before the crash, all three boys had been at a party where alcohol was served, police said.

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