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Cell Phone Use Causes Car Crash

Driver was caught with weapon, marijuana; one passenger was trapped in the car; the other hid in a nearby outhouse.

A Watsonville teenager who attempted to drive and use his cell phone at the same time hit a hard reality Tuesday morning when he crashed his Jetta into a power pole on Corralitos Road, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Having a pellet gun and pot in the car just compounded the problems.

Alfredo Melendez-Zuniga, 18, was driving a black Jetta westbound but got distracted with his phone, veered off the road and hit the utility pole head-on, CHP officer Sarah Jackson reported. He had two other 18-year-old Watsonville men in the car with him.

After the collision, Melendez-Zuniga allegedly hid a pellet gun and a small amount of marijuana in a bush near the collision scene, according to Jackson.

Melendez-Zuniga wasn't hurt, but he was taken to Watsonville Community Hospital to get checked out.

One of his passengers wasn't as lucky. One teen was pinned in the car and had to be cut out by . He was flown by Cal Star to San Jose Regional Medical Center with major injuries, the CHP reported.

The other passenger ran from the crash. CHP officers found him in an outhouse near the intersection of Corralitos Road and Freedom Boulevard, according to the CHP.

Melendez-Zuniga got a ticket for possessing marijuana, Jackson said.

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