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Solo vehicle crash kills youth in Portola Valley

An accident Thursday night seriously injured the driver of a black BMW and killed his passenger, a 19-year-old Redwood City man, after the car crashed into a tree shortly before 11:30 p.m. in the 800 block of Portola Road in Portola Valley. The unidentified driver was a Portola Valley resident, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

The passenger, Robert Wetzel, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said.

The 19-year-old driver, who has not yet been identified, was taken to a hospital with "multiple fractures and other trauma," Sgt. Linda Gibbons of the Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Sheriff's deputies learned of the accident when someone called a dispatcher to report "the sound of a large crash," Sgt. Gibbons said. Medics responded immediately, she said.

Evidence at the scene led deputies to take alcohol and speed into consideration, Sgt. Gibbons said. As part of their investigation, deputies are looking into what the two men had been doing before the accident.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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