Teen Dies from Injuries in Southeast Cedar Rapids Crash

By Jeff Raasch, Reporter

17-year-old Jose Mendoza died in the crash.

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By Richard Pratt

Fatal Cedar Rapids Crash
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Alcohol was involved in a rollover crash in Cedar Rapids early Monday morning that took the life of 17-year-old Jose Mendoza.

First responders responded around 1:40 a.m. to the one-car accident on Cottage Grove Avenue SE just west of 34th Street SE. Investigators determined the eastbound car carrying four teenagers crested the hill and lost control. It rolled several times and struck a utility pole before landing on its top, police said.

One of the rear passengers in the car, a 17-year-old boy, suffered serious injuries, police said. He was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital and then flown to University Hospitals, where he died from his injuries, police said.

The other occupants of the car were treated for minor injuries at Cedar Rapids hospitals.

The front passenger, Katie Opperman, 18, of Central City, was arrested for public intoxication and persons under the legal age. She was taken to the Linn County Jail.

Police have not identified the driver or either rear passenger, who are all 17 years old.

Cottage Grove Avenue SE was closed between Lincolnshire Drive and 34th Street SE for most of the morning, as Alliant Energy workers replaced a utility pole. The roadway has since reopened.

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