Police: 15-year-old driver turned herself in; intersection’s history not a factor in fatal crash

We learned more about the arrest of the 15-year-old suspected driver
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Police confirmed Wednesday that the 15-year-old girl believed to be responsible for a fatal crash in Green Bay last Sunday turned herself in.

There is a memorial of balloons and signs for Cruz Beltran, the 17-year-old passenger in her car who lost his life Sunday night.

People who witnessed the crash told police the same thing: A car was moving really fast into the intersection of Oneida and W. Mason streets. In the criminal complaint, the young driver tells police why she didn’t slow down.

Security video from a gas station at the corner shows a white Toyota Corolla slamming into a car in the intersection before crashing into another car head-on.

According to a criminal complaint, the driver of the car that was struck head-on told police it appeared the driver of the Corolla didn’t have control of the vehicle and was swerving.

Another witness said they saw a group of teens take off in another vehicle nearby after the crash.

Police say the victim was in the back passenger seat of the Corolla at the time of the crash. The complaint says a woman administered CPR before he was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead 40 minutes after the first 911 call.

“It’s a tragic situation. It shows what can happen so quickly. Young people don’t always appreciate the gravity of the situation or the seriousness of their actions, and unfortunately in this case, a young man’s life was lost because of some ... maybe bad choices, bad decisions being made,” Lt. Brad Strouf, Green Bay Police Department, said.

Strouf said the suspected driver of the Corolla remains in custody after turning herself in Monday afternoon.

”She acknowledged that she was driving the vehicle at a rate of speed higher than the posted speed limit when the crash occurred,” Strouf said, adding, “After the crash, she did not have a lot of recollection of anything beyond that point.”

As Action 2 News first reported Tuesday night, the 15-year-old Green Bay girl is accused of taking her mother’s car without permission.

In the criminal complaint, the girl told police she and her friends were just driving around for a while and they were coming from the west-side Walmart. When asked why she didn’t stop for the red light at Oneida Street, she said when it turned yellow she thought she could beat it.

She also denied being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and believed she was going not more than 55 miles per hour.

However, court documents show investigators used a time-distance formula to analyze the speed she was going. Two surveillance cameras from businesses at the corners were used. Both angles concluded the teen was traveling faster than 100 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone.

The girl doesn’t have a license. “You can’t receive a full-fledged regular driver’s license until the age of 16, so that is a safe assumption to make,” Strouf confirmed.

The teen is charged as an adult with 1st Degree Reckless Homicide, Hit-and-Run, and Taking and Driving a Vehicle Without the Owner’s Consent. She’s being held on a $100,000 cash bond.

We are not identifying her because the case could be moved to juvenile court. We reached out to the Brown County district attorney’s office about that, but we haven’t heard back at the time of this writing.

Green Bay police say this intersection is busy and had a history of speeding problems, but they don’t believe those issues are directly connected to this crash.

A 17-year-old boy died in the high-speed crash