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Photos: Noe Gonzalez ID'd as teen who died in J-turn accident at Aurora RV park

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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.

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.

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."

Continue for more J-turns videos, a news report and an interactive graphic.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts