15-year-old driver in crash with train faces charges


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Created: 4/26/2006 12:51 PM MST - Updated: 4/26/2006 1:11 PM MST


GRANADA (AP) - A Texas teenager who lost his mother and two siblings in a

deadly crash almost two weeks ago now faces several charges in connection

with that accident.


Fifteen-year-old Christopher Cruz was the sole survivor of the April 13th

crash in southeastern Colorado, where the Ford Explorer he was driving

collided with a freight train near Granada.


The Colorado State Patrol cited him for allegedly driving without a valid

license, failing to show proof of insurance, and failing to yield the right

of way after proceeding from a stop sign -- along with six counts of

careless driving causing death.


Sergeant Jeff Goodwin says Christopher did not have a permit to drive, and

that loud music from the S-U-V's stereo contributed to the crash.


Investigators say the music distracted the boy while he was trying to cross

a set of railroad tracks, ending up in the path of the BNSF Railway train.


Goodwin also denied earlier reports that at least two of the people inside

the Explorer were hearing impaired.


The crash killed Christopher's mother, 36-year-old Cristela Rios of Donna,

Texas; and her children, 13-year-old Bud Cruz, and 14-year-old Harley Rios.


Authorities say 23-year-old Melissa Resendez of Combes, Texas; 26-year-old

Ventura Becerra of Harlingen (Texas); and 36-year-old Francisco Perez Junior

of Donna (Texas) also died.


Christopher's condition and location are unknown.