Five teenagers had to get medical treatment after a prank with a lighter led to a rollover traffic crash on Columbia Road early Sunday morning.
Two girls, ages 15 and 16, sitting in the back seat were thrown from the Ford Bronco during the crash.
The 18-year-old driver and two other boys, ages 16 and 17, remained inside the SUV during the crash. None of the teens were wearing seatbelts. The driver crashed the SUV after a front seat passenger lit the driver’s armpit hair on fire with a lighter.
Deputies cited driver Tristian Myers with inattentive driving. The 16-year-old boy in the passenger seat was cited for Interfering with the Driver’s Safe Operation of a Vehicle.
Paramedics took three of the teens to a local hospital after the crash for treatment of what appear to be non life-threatening injuries.
The crash occurred around 5:30 a.m. Sunday on Columbia Road, between Meridian and Linder roads.
The driver told deputies he lost control of the Bronco after swerving to avoid an animal in the street.
It wasn’t until a short time later, after deputies talked to all the teens, when a different story emerged — that the teens in the front of the car were goofing around prior to the crash. Both Myers and the other boy in the front later admitted to what happened.
There was also evidence Myers was going too fast and driving erratically prior to the crash, which led to citation for inattentive driving.