METHUEN — A 17-year-old from Haverhill died when he drove a stolen car into a utility pole and a tree on Riverside Drive just before the Lawrence line around 4:30 a.m. today.
The teen, identified by police as Ijady Oquendo, died on impact, according to Capt. Randy Haggar. Police Chief Joseph Solmon said the teen had been sought by the Department of Children and Families for a month.
Haggar said the 1996 Honda was reported stolen out of Lowell and was traveling at a high rate of speed toward Lawrence when the teen lost control of the vehicle, skidded into a utility pole and then slammed into a large tree at the corner of Byron and Riverside.
"Speed was a factor," Haggar said.
Solomon said witnesses reported seeing two small cars going about 100 mph on Riverside Drive in Methuen. Soon after, the Honda crashed. The second car circled the scene and then fled.
Emergency medical workers declared the teen dead on the scene, Haggar said. The Fire Department had to use a Jaws of Life hydraulic tool to cut the roof off the car and remove the body from the crumpled vehicle.
The family was notified and did arrive at the scene to identify the body, which was removed by the Essex County Medical Examiner's office at around 6:45 a.m.
The car was towed at about 7:15 a.m. by Sheehan's Towing of Methuen.
Haggar said an investigation into the incident is continuing. He said the car was not being pursued by police.
Solomon said there is no further information on the second vehicle.
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