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Six hospitalized in single-vehicle crash involving nine teenagers north of Vancouver

Authorities said nine teens were in one small SUV when the vehicle spun off the road and rolled multiple times.

SALMON CREEK, Wash. — Authorities said six teenagers were hospitalized after a single-vehicle rollover crash Thursday afternoon in Salmon Creek, just north of Vancouver, Wash.  

The Clark County Sheriff's Office said nine teens were crammed in a small SUV traveling eastbound on Northeast 117th Street at high speeds when the driver lost control and slid into the oncoming lane. 

The vehicle then struck a curb, jumped the sidewalk and rolled down a 50-foot embankment, coming to a rest on the edge of Salmon Creek below an Interstate 5 overpass, the sheriff's office said. 

Witnesses said the the SUV was going at least 70 miles per hour and driving erratically when the crash occurred, Clark County Fire District 6 said. All of the occupants are students at Prairie High School.

"When I walked up and saw the car for the first time, my thought was 'this is going to be at least one fatality,'" said Dave Schmitke with Fire District 6. "When I found out the number of people in the car, and that there were no fatalities, I was shocked — pleasantly shocked." 

The sheriff's office said all nine occupants crawled out the vehicle and six of them were transported to local hospitals for various injuries. None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening. 

Authorities will be investigating to determine if criminal charges will be filed.

"Sometimes in these accidents, it's near the end of the school year, you want to celebrate — I get it. But this just happens surprisingly frequently," said Schmitke. "The fact that we have nine people, young people, who lived through it is quite a blessing."

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