Teen Driving at Time of Fatal Crash will Lose Driver's Permit

By Trish Mehaffey

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By Becky Ogann

JOHNSON COUNTY - The 15-year-old driver involved in the fatal crash that killed her 16-year-old Clear Creek Amana High passenger last week will be charged with failure to have a valid driver’s license.

Iowa State Trooper Eric Fitzer said Rachel Stewart of North Liberty, lost control of her van as a result of a “tire failure” about 8:45 p.m. Sept. 3, northbound on I-380, near Shueyville. The van rolled into the median, coming to rest on its top in the southbound lanes. One of her passengers, Alyssa Benedict of Tiffin died in the accident. The other passenger, Rachel Petersen, 16, also of Tiffin, received injuries in the crash.

Fitzer said Stewart will be issued the ticket by next week. No drugs or alcohol were involved.

Stewart had a valid Iowa Learner’s Permit but no parent or guardian was in the van. A 14-year-old can obtained a permit by passing a written exam but a parent, guardian or person over the age of 25 must accompany the driver at all times.

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