Local Student killed after wrecked his 03 Cobra showing off to friends

NastyWS6

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MPO it's reason like this why new drivers should not be driving sports cars like this. They have no sense of responsibility, and nearly took 2 other young lives.

Student killed, two injured in car crash
NORTH HIGH: Sophomore Matthew Neal Clark "had a wonderful life ahead of him."

02/19/2003

By MARLOWE CHURCHILL and JOSE ARBALLO JR.
THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE


HIGHGROVE - A sophomore at John W. North High School was killed and two classmates injured Tuesday when their car, traveling about 100 mph, left a winding road and landed upside down in a rock-lined creek bed, authorities said.

The crash is the latest in a string of accidents that has left several Inland teens dead.

Matthew Neal Clark, 16, of Corona was pronounced dead about 12:30 p.m. at the crash site on Pigeon Pass Road, according to Riverside County coroner's officials.

Passengers Joaquin Maya and Jorge Esquivel, both 16, suffered minor injuries and were taken to Riverside Community Hospital, the California Highway Patrol said.

The CHP said Clark apparently lost control of the Ford Mustang Cobra at a curve about one-half mile east of Mount Vernon Avenue, east of Riverside.

"He kept going, faster, faster, faster," said Jeffrey Skaggs. "I saw the curve coming, and I thought, 'He's not hitting the brakes.' "

Skaggs, a Forest Falls contractor, said he heard the roar of the engine on Pigeon Pass Road just west of the Highgrove landfill about 12:30 p.m. He spotted the Cobra accelerating down the winding two-lane road, he said.

Skaggs said he heard the car crash, then realized it had disappeared off the roadway and probably couldn't be spotted by passing motorists. He called 911 and then drove to the accident scene, finding one of the youths sitting on the road.

CHP Officer Gregory Sotello said the three youths were wearing seat belts. It took paramedics several hours to extricate the Clark's body from the wreckage, which was about 20 feet below the roadway.

The 2003 Cobra was so damaged that the make and model could not be identified from the road.

Ford's Web site lists the Cobra as a limited-edition model for car enthusiasts. The six-speed, 390-horsepower vehicle can cost up to $37,000.

Sotello said the car was traveling so fast that it was airborne for about 260 feet after it missed the curve. He said it appeared the car rolled several times, struck a tree and landed on its roof.

Campus in mourning

North High School Principal Dale Kinnear spent most of the afternoon on the phone with authorities trying to find out more about the accident. The school does not allow students to leave the campus for lunch, and Kinnear did not know why the students were out of school Tuesday.

He planned to visit all three students' homes Tuesday evening.

"He had a wonderful life ahead of him," Kinnear said of Matthew. "We're all in shock. Tomorrow, when we see his empty desk, we're all going to cry."

The two students who survived the accident were supposed to be released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon, Kinnear said. The students, a sophomore and a junior, were both on the school's swim team.

"They're great kids," Kinnear said. "College-going kids."

Matthew was in the school's International Baccalaureate Program, an accelerated academic program geared toward top students.

Crisis counselors will be available today for students and teachers who need them, Kinnear said.

Other accident deaths

Seven Inland teens have now lost their lives to auto crashes in the past three months.

Last week, three Banning High School students were killed when the car they were riding in rolled over on Highway 111 outside Palm Springs. Tiffany Lamb, Rosalie Hernandez and Danielle Peterson, all 17, had planned to graduate in June. A fourth student, 17-year-old Sabrina Joyce, was critically injured.

In January, Loy Moon, 18, and Christopher Gray, 17, both of Yucaipa, died after the 2003 Lexus they were riding in crashed into a tree on Oak Glen Road. Moon was a senior at Yucaipa High School, while Gray was a senior at Mesa Grande Academy, a private school in Calimesa. Investigators initially said the car had been traveling at high speed at the time of the accident.

In December, 17-year-old Grant Nunnally, a champion cross-country runner from Woodcrest Christian High School, died from injuries suffered when the pickup he was driving collided with several other vehicles as he left soccer practice.

While new graduated driver license programs are being credited for helping reduce teenage deaths in traffic accidents, authorities say young motorists still face challenges to driving.

"In some cases, they only have a few months of driving experience," said Jim Whitney, public affairs officer for the California Highway Patrol in Riverside. "It's sometimes a matter of maturity. They like to show off and drive too fast."

Staff writer Maria T. Garcia contributed to this report.

Marlowe Churchill can reached by email at [email protected].

Jose Arballo Jr. can reached by email at [email protected].
 
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NastyWS6

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I would be willing to put money on it that his parents asked him what he wanted and then just handed it over without any thoughts or doubts to it. I agree it is the parents fault for buying their kid suck a powerful car for their first. I mean hell the kid could not have even had his license for much more then 3 or 4 months considering you can not even get a permit now until you turn 16, plus 6 months of holding it before you can get your license.
 

MattNCSU

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GD, if a 16 yr old wants a [email protected] Mustang, get a V-6! Some teenagers have no right to be behind the wheel of these muscle cars.
It's sad this happened, but it could have been prevented.
 

Lee

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Tragedies like this cause insurance companies and politicians to have knee jerk reactions and call for horsepower limits. It's happened with motorcycles, but was defeated in the U.S.
 

Big Vito

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its also Fords fault for manufacturing the car.
I say they should outlaw/BAN all vehicles they seem to be a very deadly WEAPON
Originally posted by 03DOHC
Now how in the F does a 16yo get an 03 Cobra. That's the parents fault.
 

Booyah

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Has nothing to do with it being a Cobra at all. If he had a riced out Civic and thought it was fast this stupid kid would have killed himself regardless. His friends stated he didn't even hit the brakes.
 

Sailing2Smth

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Originally posted by Booyah
Has nothing to do with it being a Cobra at all. If he had a riced out Civic and thought it was fast this stupid kid would have killed himself regardless. His friends stated he didn't even hit the brakes.

exactly!!! he coulda been driving anything, fact is he was going 100mph and lost control of his vehicle.....dumbshit! he got what he deserved.

thats just an awful waste of such a beautiful car.:nonono: :nonono:
 
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Big Vito

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and thats why I said vehicles.
I agree with ya on this one :) BTW hows the Marine sitiation going?
Originally posted by Sailing2Smth
exactly!!! he coulda been driving anything, fact is he was going 100mph and lost control of his vehicle.....dumbshit! he got what he deserved.:nonono:
 

Paul Vincent

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Only the Cobra was mentioned. What other models (truck and cars) were the students driving? Why only was the Cobra mentioned? Was the Cobra driving sophomore any deader than the other students who were killed?
 

Venmous28

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Originally posted by chunkysoup
its also Fords fault for manufacturing the car.
I say they should outlaw/BAN all vehicles they seem to be a very deadly WEAPON

hopefully you are being severely sacastic and im not picking it up...
 

Sailing2Smth

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Originally posted by chunkysoup
and thats why I said vehicles.
I agree with ya on this one :) BTW hows the Marine sitiation going?

ya know man, i hope u were being sarcastic when u said its Fords fault too:p

jessica and i are just talking, no news to report, but i will keep all you guys updated if something happends, i doubt that it will, that rank thing.........it really sux sometimes:cuss:
 

Big Vito

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yup, I was being very sarcastic, Just think Bushmaster. Well being on talking terms is a good start. just be careful
Originally posted by Sailing2Smth
ya know man, i hope u were being sarcastic when u said its Fords fault too:p

jessica and i are just talking, no news to report, but i will keep all you guys updated if something happends, i doubt that it will, that rank thing.........it really sux sometimes:cuss:
 

RAS

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I guarantee you that the parents are going to sue FORD. Why not, everybody else seems to do it after an unfortunate accident. Its sad to see what lawyers are making this country turn out to be ( A bunch of Frivilous lawsuits making people rich).
 

Alex_96Cobra

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Tragic. I put the pedal down on more than a few occasions when I shouldnt have as a young man. Who here can say they didnt test the power of their first car? it's part of learning-he used bad judgement and payed a hefty price. It was truely a waste of life. Very close to my neck of the woods.

Alex
 

SVTdubs

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I had a 99 Cobra vert when I was 16. Daddy didnt buy it though. I made payments to him so you can flame all you want. I drove the car like it was a baby. I, like many, had to test her out to see what she could do. I took a racing class from my uncle who raced cars so at least I knew what I was doing before I just threw the hammer down.
 

zzzzzer

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:nonono: Sad story. I can't imagine what his parents are going through ESPECIALLY if one of them didn't want the kid to have the car but the other said it was okay.
 

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