ARCADIA (CBS) — There’s a long list of things that cause fatal crashes: alcohol, driver error, speeding, texting, driver distraction, glare…
But there is one factor that you may not think of — a dirty windshield.
Officials believe that a dirty windshield was the difference on April 10 between life and death for Alice Zhang, a 16-year-old Arcadia High School student.
According to Detective Mike Hale, authorities plan to file a vehicular manslaughter case with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
The driver? A 19-year-old male behind the wheel of a 1997 Lexus sedan. He is, ironically, a graduate of Arcadia High. He’s also described as in the Army Reserves with no prior criminal history. Through his lawyer, the unidentified 19-year-old says he is heartbroken.
Hale explains, “There was some negligence here on the part of the driver, with the condition of the vehicle and that’s what resulted in the collision and the tragedy that followed. The whole vehicle was dirty, but specifically the windshield… that’s when you have an issue.”
He adds, “If his windshield wasn’t dirty, we would never even be having that conversation.”
The accident also seriously injured a friend, also a teen, walking with Zhang.
According to the driver’s attorney, the car belongs to his father and not driven often.
KCAL9’s Serene Branson reported that the attorney maintains that it was glare and not negligence that caused this accident.