FREMONT -- A 17-year-old boy died and his friend was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and drunken driving after their SUV slammed into a tree in the Weibel neighborhood over the weekend, police said.
Fremont resident Jason Park died in the crash early Sunday morning near the intersection of Durham Road and Topaz Way, just off Paseo Padre Parkway, an Alameda County coroner's office spokeswoman said.
Park, who participated in a Fremont Unified School District independent study program, was the front-seat passenger in a 2006 four-door silver Nissan Xterra that crashed about 1 a.m., police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said.
Two other 17-year-old boys, who attend Mission San Jose High School, suffered injuries that were serious but not life-threatening, Bosques said.
The friends had just dropped off a fourth 17-year-old Fremont boy at his home in the Warm Springs area after leaving a tea shop and were traveling east on Durham Road, near Paseo Padre Parkway, when the SUV veered toward the shoulder, hit a large rock and sheared a tree. The vehicle spun and hit a second tree on the right-hand shoulder of Durham Road.
Park, who was wearing a seat belt, was partially ejected from the SUV. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
The driver, who was also wearing a seat belt, suffered serious injuries and was taken to a trauma center, Bosques said. He was treated and released Sunday, then subsequently arrested on suspicion of DUI and manslaughter. His name was not released.
The other 17-year-old boy, who sat in the SUV's back seat, was also taken to a hospital, where he was treated and released Sunday. It was not immediately known if that teen was wearing a seat belt.
"Toxicology reports are pending for the driver, but we do believe all three had been drinking," Bosques said, adding the test results will take a few weeks to be complete.
The victim's parents, Jay and Lisa Park, told KGO that although they are mourning the death of their son, their hearts go out to the driver's family.
"This burden, this kind of memory they'll have to live with for the rest of their life,"Jay Park said. "(The driver) wanted to take my son home, and he volunteered without knowing how intoxicated he was."
The victim's parents said they had conversations with their son about teen drinking and that he even signed a contract promising not to drink and drive.
"We always trusted him, but as a parent we're always worried," Lisa Park said. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Fremont police at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Investigative Unit at 510-790-6900. Anonymous tips can be left at www.fremontpolice.org/tip.
Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.