Arizona authorities confuse identities of teens involved in fatal Phoenix car accident; families want answers — officials blame each other

The authorities who confused the identities of two teens involved in a Phoenix car accident will never be able to right the injustice done to the families.

News 9 reports the girl and four of her friends had gone to Disneyland last weekend and were driving back to Phoenix when a tire blew and their vehicle rolled over. The family was told she was seriously injured but did survive the crash.

The Arizona Republic reported that the girl’s family stayed by her bedside for six days, while the family of a close friend planned a funeral for their daughter who was killed in the accident. But authorities had mixed up the identities of the girls. Officials from the Arizona Department of Public Safety admitted they had made the most horrific mistake imaginable.

One family got word that the funeral was off — their daughter was alive and recovering at the hospital. The family at that teen’s bedside was given the news that their daughter had died a week ago.

Officials are passing the blame back and forth among themselves. DPS reports that its officials struggled to identify the woman who died and requested an additional examination of the body be conducted by the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office. That did not occur for another five days. Officials at the hospital said they never checked fingerprints or dental records.

During the confusion, a 20-year-old passenger died as a result of his injuries and family and friends of the survivors have attended his funeral.

Not one of the officials responsible has been in touch with the grieving families, the Arizona Republic reported, even as the case has made news around the world.

“All I want is answers right now,” the girl’s father said. An aunt agreed.

“We would like someone to look into this situation and find out how it happened and make sure this never happens again to anyone,” she said.