12/09/11 — Five teens injured in mall crash

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Five teens injured in mall crash

By Gary Popp
Published in News on December 9, 2011 1:46 PM

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Goldsboro firefighters and rescue workers help remove the driver and passengers of a car that ran off the road in a curve and smashed into a tree behind Berkeley Mall on Thursday about 7 p.m. All five teenagers in the car were sent to Wayne Memorial Hospital. Investigators blamed speeding for the crash.

Five teenagers were taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital after a car in which they were riding ran off the road and struck a pine tree behind Berkeley Mall Thursday at about 6:30 p.m.

One of the occupants, a 15-year-old boy, was later airlifted to Pitt Memorial Hospital, where he remains in critical condition, Goldsboro police said today.

The four others in the vehicle, ages 12, 15, 15 and 17, have been released from the hospital or are in stable condition, police said.

The 2002 Ford was driven by Ashleigh Brooke Robinson, 16, of 215 Woodbine St.

The vehicle was traveling west behind Sears when the driver failed to properly make a turn and struck the tree, officials said.

Both front-seat passengers were wearing their safety belts. None of the three backseat riders were buckled up, according to the accident report. Airbags deployed in both front passenger areas.

Robinson told police that she was traveling at 35 mph when something ran out in front of her vehicle causing her to lose control of the car and leave the roadway. She could not describe what it was that ran out in front of her before the accident.

The police officer who filed the accident report wrote that "(the driver) seemed very unsure of herself while telling her story."

Police said one of the passengers in the backseat told officers that the driver had increased speed just before the accident.

Police estimated the speed of the vehicle at impact at 43 mph.

There is no posted speed limit in that area of the parking lot, police said.

Investigators said the accident appeared to have been caused by the speed of the vehicle and the driver's inattention and lack of driving experience.

Charges against Miss Robinson are pending, officers said.

Damages were estimated at $9,000.