SAN JOSE (BCN) – The driver of a Ford Explorer that crashed in San Jose early Tuesday morning, killing a teenage passenger, has been arrested on a drunken driving charge, police Officer Jose Garcia said.

Residents called police to report hearing a crash and explosion on Almaden Expressway near O’Grady Drive at about 3 a.m., Garcia said.

It appears that the driver of the 2001 Ford Explorer lost control and crashed into a light pole and possibly a tree, causing the vehicle to catch fire, Garcia said.

When officers arrived, they found the passenger, an 18-year-old
San Jose man, trapped in the burning car. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver was located down the street a short time later.

“We have reason to believe he was trying to hide and flee from officers,” Garcia said.

Officers detected alcohol on his breath, Garcia said.

The driver has been identified as Mitchell Pennings, an 18-year-old San Jose resident.

Pennings was taken to a hospital with minor injuries and then booked into Santa Clara County’s main jail on charges of felony DUI, fleeing the scene of a crash and vehicular manslaughter.

Garcia said police are awaiting the results of Pennings’ blood test to determine his blood-alcohol content.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

Comments (8)
  1. Suze says:

    Why were two teens out at 3:00a.m. on a week night?

    1. itsanACCIDENT! says:

      don’t start putting the blame on anyone!

    2. gh says:

      because they’re 18 (or at least 1 is) and they can be out whatever time they want duh!

  2. tn says:

    Based on the second to the last statement of this article, one suspects alcohol. It’s as stupid as, “Hanky-panky was not determined to have caused this accident.” Wouldn’t it be more “politically correct” if the statement simply read, “The cause of the accident is pending further investigation.”? Who writes or edits these articles? Prayers to the dead teen, recovering survivor and their families.

  3. tn says:

    …and when you (I) try to play the video attachment, it doesn’t work. So when you (I) try to click on the “HELP” hyperlink, it takes you (me) to a “Page Not Found, We’re sorry” page. Yes, they are “sorry.” If it doesn’t work, remove it. It shouldn’t be that hard. (Why am I spending / wasting time on this?)

  4. G says:

    The video works fine here, which is unusual for CBS5, but I just noticed that the underlying HTML contains an automatic page refresh every 240 seconds. So 4 minutes in and BOOM. Refresh. Oh, were you doing something? In fact, the page refreshed the first time I was typing in this comment, obliterating it.

    Genius. Great design. Awesome in every way possible.

  5. R Rodriguez says:

    You right about that tn cause i heard on the radio that the accident was cause by alcohol.

  6. HMG says:

    FYI, I have been complaining about the automatic refresh since this new design went live. In addition, if you are paying attenting, the color of the font of the message you are typing is a very faint gray – almost impossible to see. This ridiculous color is also used for picture captions and story summaries. WHEN will web designers learn that tjhey are designing web sites for the public and NOT for themselves???

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