STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — A van carrying 10 minors was found in the canal off West Eight Mile Road near King Island and Paradise Point in Stockton, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.
The California Highway Patrol says one boy died at the scene, and a girl died after being taken to the hospital. The boy has been identified as 14-year-old Richard Wilson and the girl has been identified as 12-year-old Sariah Sayasit by the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office.
“The vehicle overturned and ended up into White Slough. Several of the occupants were ejected out,” Sgt. Barbara Butler told FOX40. “There was a San Joaquin deputy cadet in the area, so we got a response from fire and medics immediately.”
Some of the minors tried to help get everyone to safety, according to officials.
The other eight passengers were taken to three different area hospitals, some suffering from hypothermia after being in the water. A few of them have since been released from the hospital.
All the passengers are between 12 to 17 years old, and police say many of them were not wearing seatbelts.
Officials say alcohol did not seem to play a part but the 17-year-old did not have a license.
They are still investigating the cause of the accident.
Once the identities of the deceased minors were released to the public, the Lodi Unified School District posted the following statement on Facebook:
We are deeply saddened to share that two students passed away yesterday in a car accident.
The District will provide counseling and bereavement support services at Bear Creek High School and Delta Sierra Middle School as our two school communities process this tragic news and cope with grief. Stockton Police Department chaplains will also be available to assist students and staff during this difficult time.
Our sincere condolences and thoughts go out to the families affected by this tragedy. We also offer our condolences to Bear Creek and Delta Sierra students and staff members.
This story is developing.