NEW JERSEY TEEN KILLED IN RECKLESS DRIVING ACCIDENT; DRIVER CHARGED

18-year-old Stephanie Morgan of Emerson, New Jersey died Wednesday, April 22nd, after being ejected from an SUV that was being driven at a "reckless" rate of speed, according to the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.

Authorities say that the driver, along with a 15-year-old boy who was also a passenger in the vehicle, were initially taken to local hospitals but survived the crash with only minor injuries.

Driver Charged As Juvenile

The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office has not released the name of the 17-year-old female driver, but has moved forward in charging the teenager with a juvenile offense equivalent to second-degree vehicular manslaughter.

The driver, also a student at Emerson High School, reportedly lost control of the Nissan Pathfinder SUV, causing it to flip onto its side on Hasbrouck Avenue at 8:40 p.m. on Wednesday the 22nd. During the flip Morgan, who had been sitting in the front passenger seat with an unbuckled seatbelt, was ejected and suffered traumatic head injuries. She was later pronounced dead at Hackensack Medical Center.

Prosecutors are reporting that they have not found any evidence of intoxication.

Friends, Family Gather to Mourn Loss

Emerson Superintendent Brian Gatens said in an interview with The Record newspaper that fellow students and teachers are "shocked and saddened" at the news. He also stated that, "As the Emerson school community grieves this loss, all Emerson Junior-Senior High School extracurricular activities scheduled for today, including tonight's Junior Semi-Formal, are cancelled."

Emerson Mayor Louis Lamatina further added, "Words cannot express the profound sadness and grief in the borough today. We are grateful for the strong support system available to our board of education and will assist the board in the coming days as appropriate. Please pray for the families of all involved in this profound tragedy."

Morgan would have graduated from Emerson High School in May.

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