Teen Suspected of DUI in Head-On Huntington Beach Crash That Killed 61-Year-Old Woman

A 61-year-old Huntington Beach woman was killed in a suspected DUI crash with a teenage driver who was driving on the wrong side of the road, police said Friday.

The 17-year-old boy was driving his black Nissan Rogue northbound on Gothard Street Wednesday night when the vehicle veered onto southbound lanes and collided head-on with a silver Kia Soul carrying three passengers, the Huntington Beach Police Department said in a news release.

Officers arrived at the crash site north of Center Avenue at 9:25 p.m. to find the two vehicles, both with major damage to their front.

Susan Palmer, who was a teacher according to close friends of the family, was sitting in the back seat of the Kia and she sustained major internal injuries in the crash, authorities said. She was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The driver of the Kia and the front passenger both complained of pain but weren’t seriously hurt, according to the news release.

The teenage driver, who remained at the scene, was found to be under the influence of alcohol, police said.

He suffered minor injuries in the crash and was taken to a hospital for treatment. After being discharged, he will be booked on suspicion of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter, Huntington Beach Police Lt. Smith said. He was not identified and police only described him as a male driver from Westminster.

The department said there were family members with Palmer at the time of the crash.

Investigators are looking for any witnesses or surveillance video from the area that might shed more light on the events leading up to the fatal collision.

The investigation is ongoing and no further details were available.

Anyone with information was asked to contact Investigator D. Kim at 714-536-5666 or Investigator A. Turner at 714-536-5670.

KTLA’s Nancy Fontan contributed to this report.

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