Photos: Noe Gonzalez ID'd as teen who died in J-turn accident at Aurora RV park
Yesterday, we reported about a terrible accident involving four teens whose car crashed into the side of a mobile home, apparently while executing the road maneuver known as a J-turn. See our previous coverage below. Now, the individuals involved in the case have been identified, revealing just how tragic the event has been for one family. The driver of the vehicle was Monica Gonzalez, sixteen, who remains in critical condition. And a passenger who died was her younger brother, Noe Gonzalez, thirteen. See photos of Noe and get more information below.
As we've reported, a car collided with an unoccupied mobile home at Denver Meadows RV Park, 2075 Potomac Street in Aurora, a little after 8 p.m. on Sunday. All four occupants of the car were teenagers, and the pair on the right side of the vehicle -- Arturo Martinez and Luis Luna Robles, sixteen -- suffered minor injuries. However, Monica and Noe, who were on the left side of the vehicle, absorbed the lion's share of the impact.
Afterward, personnel who responded to the scene were told that Monica had been executing J-turns -- engaging the emergency brake and cranking the wheel to reverse direction. It's a move popularized in countless TV shows and movies, and there are a slew of how-to videos on the topic available via YouTube. Some examples can be found in our earlier coverage.
In the meantime, Noe's Facebook page has turned into impromptu memorial, with a large number of heartfelt statements affixed to this photo:
Also on Gonzalez's Facebook page are a couple of sayings that are even more poignant today than when they were posted. Here's one from Dr. Seuss....
...and another about angels:
An official expression of grief has also been released by Aurora Public Schools; Noe attended North Middle School.
The APS statement reads:
We are deeply saddened to share that a student at North Middle School Health Sciences and Technology Campus was recently killed in an automobile accident. Our hearts go out to the student's family and friends.
This news has been upsetting for many students and staff members. Because of this, we have had counselors at school today to talk with students and staff who are having difficulty dealing with this sad situation. We will continue to provide counselors as needed.
The safety and well-being of our students and staff is a top priority in Aurora Public Schools.
Our condolences to Noe's family, and our best wishes for Monica's complete recovery.
Original post, 6:08 a.m. March 11: J-turns -- making a 180 degree turn by cranking the steering wheel and engaging the emergency brake -- go by many names. They're also known as police turns or Rockfords -- a reference to TV's The Rockford Files, a '70s-vintage detective series whose titular hero, Jim Rockford, used to pull the maneuver on a regular basis. As you'll see below, YouTube is filled with clips showing how to pull them off, with one instructor calling the stunt "simple." But that wasn't the case for four teens in Aurora, one of whom died after apparently trying to pull a J-turn. Continue for details and videos.
The incident took place just after 8 p.m. last night at the Denver Meadows RV Park, located at 2075 Potomac Street in Aurora. The report? A car had collided with a mobile home.
The Denver Meadows RV Park; interactive graphic below.
When the Aurora Police Department, joined by fire and rescue personnel from the city, responded to the scene, they discovered a black Saturn facing west after having struck a mobile home on the driver's side. Inside were four people under the age of seventeen.
Emergency crews immediately went to work extracting the quartet -- a fairly simple matter for the pair on the right/passenger side of the vehicle, both of whom sustained relatively minor damage. But the pair on the left -- the driver and the person directly to the rear -- absorbed the majority of the impact. The former is in critical condition at last report, with injuries said to be life-threatening. The latter died shortly after arriving at an area hospital.
Thus far, the names of the victims and their specific ages have yet to be made public.
The scene of the incident last night.
According to the APD, two of the vehicle's occupants -- presumably the pair who came out of the crash in the best shape -- said the driver had been practicing J-turns.
Fortunately, no one was in the mobile home at the time of the collision; it's been unoccupied for at least the past three years, the APD reveals. But the loss of life is disturbing, especially given the activity in which they were engaged. J-turns may look simple on TV, but there can obviously be dire consequences when they go wrong.
Here's a Motor Trend TV report about J-turns. It's followed by a slew of other clips, including a 9News report, and an interactive graphic showing the RV park where the accident took place; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
This is an interactive graphic of the area near where the crash took place. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
View Larger Map
Here's the 9News report:
More from our News archive: "Video: Erin Jackson, busted in East High hit-and-run, is a teacher and slam poet."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.