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“It’s a tragedy:” 14-year-old killed in crash, three others hurt; 14-year-old driver arrested

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MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police say speed was a factor in a crash that left a teenager dead, and three others hurt. A teenager who was driving was arrested following the crash.

The crash happened near 35th and Hayes around 8:35 p.m. on Sunday, November 8th.

Fatal crash near 35th & Hayes

Fatal crash near 35th & Hayes

Police say a 14-year-old girl was driving an SUV north on S. 35th Street at a high rate of speed when she lost control of the vehicle and collided with a tree.

A 14-year-old female passenger was ejected from the SUV and was pronounced dead at the scene. She is identified as Zaira Tellez. Officials say Tellez was a student at St. Anthony’s school in Milwaukee.

"We still can't believe it happened," Maximino Vargas, the victim's stepbrother said. "Went to the other side of the bridge. My mom was there and my dad was there crying and they said my sister passed away in a car accident."

"Her mother told me it was true. It's really sad. Really sad," Ashlee Caban said.

Caban says Tellez was her close friend.

Zaira Tellez

Zaira Tellez

"I actually was in school today and I left early because I felt so overwhelmed with everything. I just couldn't get it through my head. I couldn't focus," Caban said.

Tellez' stepbrother says it's too late to save his sister, but not too late to prevent this type of thing from happening to someone else.


"I always told her to be careful and to put seat belts on. If your friends are driving fast, get out of the car. There's nothing we can do now. It's a tragedy,"  Maximino Vargas said.

Jose Vasquez, president of St. Anthony School, released the following statement:

"It is with great sadness and deep regret that we inform you about a recent loss to our St. Anthony familia.  On November 8, 2015, Zaira Tellez, an 8th grade student at St. Anthony School was involved in an automobile accident and passed away. She was the daughter of our administration receptionist, Martha Tellez, and the brother of our 7th grade student Manuel Tellez. Funeral details are pending."

A prayer service will be held at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 10th at St. Anthony Parish.

Police say the driver and two additional passengers, a 15-year-old male and a 15-year-old female, were taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Memorial for Zaira Tellez, killed in crash near 35th & Hayes

Memorial for Zaira Tellez, killed in crash near 35th & Hayes

The vehicle was not stolen and belonged to the family of one of the passengers.

The driver was arrested for Operating Without an Operator’s License Causing Death.

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