Four people were taken to hospital following a late-night crash involving a car and a semi at 176 Street and 16 Avenue Tuesday.

Street racing suspected in late-night South Surrey crash

Jaws of life needed to rescue occupants, following crash between a semi and a Honda in South Surrey.

A late-night crash in South Surrey that sent four teens to hospital Tuesday had “lots of potential for fatalities,” police say.

And investigators suspect street racing is behind why a Honda Accord ended up wedged beneath the trailer of a semi truck.

The crash occurred around 11:40 p.m. at the intersection of 176 Street and 16 Avenue.

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann said witnesses reported seeing two westbound vehicles that appeared to be racing just before the crash occurred. The Honda and what is believed to have been a Toyota Camry were travelling “in the same direction at a high rate of speed,” Schumann said.

As the lights turned green for southbound traffic, a semi entered the intersection, but stopped when the driver saw the two cars approaching.

The first car narrowly missed the truck and continued westbound; the Honda slammed into it.

The jaws of life were needed to extract the occupants – the 16-year-old driver and her three 18-year-old passengers –  who were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The truck driver was not injured.

The crash is under investigation by officers with Surrey RCMP’s Criminal Collision Investigation Team and the Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit.

Schumann said the investigation will also look at whether drugs or alcohol played a role.

He described such investigations as “a real challenge.”

“These investigations are very complex, sometimes more complex than murder investigations because of the technical aspect of it.”

It can take up to a year before charges, if any are warranted, are laid, he said.

The investigation closed the highway for several hours.

Anyone with information that could help identify and locate the second vehicle and whoever was inside is asked to contact police at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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