An 18-year-old Madera man lost control of his newly purchased car on a curve on Road 400 Friday afternoon, spun out and struck a tree at high speed. The impact killed his 18-year-old passenger, according to the California Highway Patrol.
CHP officer Mark Cosentino said the driver, Valentin Saavedra Jr., survived but sustained broken ribs and other major injuries in the crash and was taken to Community Regional Medical Center.
“It appears the car, a 1993 Honda, had just been purchased today... Saavedra had also had his drivers license less than a month. There was no ID on the passenger. They were northbound on Road 400, south of Road 406, when the driver lost control and went off the roadway,” Cosentino said.
Saavedra is listed as a 2013 graduate of Madera South High School. Officers said the two may have been out for an afternoon joyride about 1 p.m., to try out the newly purchased car on the road’s isolated rolling curves, when the driver went off the left side of the roadway, spun out and crossed back over onto the opposite side, directly into a stand of large trees...