SANTA ANA (AP) — Authorities say a 20-year-old driver was allegedly huffing nitrous oxide just before a crash that killed a 16-year-old passenger in Orange County.

Santa Ana Police Cmdr. Steve Colon says Jose Luis Gomez drove into a tree Saturday night after losing control of his 2007 Chevrolet Impala.

Gomez was hospitalized in critical condition. He has been placed under arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Colon says a preliminary investigation revealed Gomez had been inhaling “automotive grade” nitrous oxide while driving.

The 16-year-old was killed almost instantly. Colon says two other passengers were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. Their names were not released.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  1. Kau Phaart says:

    Must be a cultural thing…..

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