Teen dead, 4 others hospitalized after car strikes tree in Fairfax Co.

One teenager has died and four others were taken to the hospital after the car they were in went off the road and hit a tree Sunday night in Oakton, Virginia.

Fairfax County police said the crash happened while the group of teenagers was going eastbound on Stuart Mill Road around 6:30 p.m. The 2010 Kia Forte ran off the right shoulder of the road and struck a tree. The crash occurred near the intersection of Stuart Mill Road and Coulter Lane.

All five were taken to the hospital, where one teen was pronounced dead.

The driver was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. The injuries of the other three are not expected to be life-threatening, police said.

Neither drugs nor alcohol appear to be factors, police said. They are still investigating whether speed contributed to the crash.

Police did not release the identities of the driver or passengers, but South Lakes High School principal Kimberly Retzer named the teen killed in the crash as Carter Smith.

In a message to the school community Monday night, Retzer said Smith was a junior at South Lakes; Smith’s family had given permission to share the information.

“Our sincere condolences are extended to family and friends of all involved, and to all members of our community who may be hearing of this terrible incident. I will maintain contact with the family and share about funeral services as that information becomes available,” Retzer said.

From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Retzer said there will be counselors and clinical team members available for students. There will also be additional support on Wednesday.

“The unexpected death of a young person is very sad and difficult to process and can have an impact on anyone, whether they knew the person or not,” Retzer said.

Anyone with information about the crash can contact the Fairfax County Crash Reconstruction Unit at (703) 280-0543.

WTOP’s Teta Alim contributed to this report.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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