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Teen killed in fatal car crash

Vehicle engulfed in fire after slamming into traffic light pole
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The mother of 19-year-old Soomin Jung wipes her tears as she and a friend walk away from the traffic light pole, where they placed flowers and offered prayers on Saturday shortly before noon. Jung’s vehicle slammed into the traffic light near the Northern Marianas College on Saturday at midnight and a fire ensued, trapping her inside. Jung was said to be coming from the hospital and was on her way to a friend’s house in As Lito when the accident happened. (Ferdie de la Torre)

The mother of 19-year-old Soomin Jung wipes her tears as she and a friend walk away from the traffic light pole, where they placed flowers and offered prayers on Saturday shortly before noon. Jung’s vehicle slammed into the traffic light near the Northern Marianas College on Saturday at midnight and a fire ensued, trapping her inside. Jung was said to be coming from the hospital and was on her way to a friend’s house in As Lito when the accident happened. (Ferdie de la Torre)

A 19-year-old woman was killed when a vehicle she was driving slammed into a traffic light pole and burst into flames near the Northern Marianas College in As Terlaje on Saturday at midnight.

Shortly before noon on Saturday, the tearful parents of the victim, Soomin Jung, were seen placing flowers at the traffic pole and offering prayers.

The grass in the area was burned. The bottom of the concrete pole had small dents.

Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Derek Gersonde said that Jung was trapped inside the vehicle.

Jung, who is of Korean descent, was later brought to the Commonwealth Health Center where a doctor pronounced her dead at 3:35am that day.

He said the department received a 911 call at 12:55am about a vehicle on fire at the corner of Monsignor Guerrero Road and Tun Antonio Apa Road in As Terlaje.

Investigation showed that Jung was heading up As Terlaje Hill when she struck the traffic light pole head on. Fire engulfed the vehicle, trapping Jung inside.

Firefighters from Koblerville and Susupe fire stations arrived at the scene at 12:59am and managed to control the blaze at 1:10am.

A bystander managed to take photos of the vehicle, which was in flames.

It was not clear yet what was the type of the vehicle, but some witnesses said it was a sports utility vehicle.

A friend of the parents said that Jung possibly fell asleep on the wheel.

Saipan Tribune separately learned that Jung had just come from the hospital to visit a sister who had just delivered a baby. She was reportedly on the way to a friend’s house in As Lito when the accident happened. It was reported that Jung was still able to call her friend to call the police as she had gotten into an accident. Fire then occurred in the vehicle.

Jung used to work at Coral Ocean Point. Her family had been in the business of selling fabrics.

The Department of Public Safety has yet to release details about the crash and its cause.

A woman was also killed when a car she was driving ran off the road and fell into a ditch in the same area several years ago.

Carlynn Mae Camacho, 28, also died when a pickup truck she was driving slammed into a tree near NMC in the early morning of Feb. 28, 2016.

Last March 11 at night, Felix Palacios, 52, was killed when the car he was driving struck a dump truck that had stopped to turn left to the construction project on the shoulder of Monsignor Guerrero Road near the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s Waterloo Station in Chalan Kiya.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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