CAR ACCIDENT DETAILS
January 1, 2020, 3:00am (Wednesday), clear, 58°F, Phoenix, AZ - Kelvin Allen was driving a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder north on 16th Street near Roeser Road in south Phoenix when he lost control of the SUV and slid off the roadway, just after 3 a.m., police said. The vehicle then struck a "block fence" that surrounded a business on the west side of the road, police said. There were about six or seven people inside the SUV at the time, among them Kaniesha Sutton, who was in the back seat, police said. She was ejected from the vehicle during the crash, police said, adding that she was not wearing a seatbelt. The girl was pronounced dead at the scene. The other passengers suffered minor injuries, according to police. Allen told police he had passed a slower vehicle and, as he moved back into his original lane, the back end of his car struck the front of the slower vehicle, which caused him to lose control of the car, according to police. Allen, nor the other passengers, could provide police with details about the other vehicle, police said. Allen was evaluated and suspected of being impaired, police said. He was arrested and booked into Maricopa County jail on suspicion of manslaughter, aggravated assault and endangerment.
PASSENGER RISK ANALYSIS
NO SEAT BELT POSES GREATEST RISK FOR TEENS
In 2018, an IHSS study showed approximately 44% of teen drivers who died in crashes were not wearing their seat belts and 52% of teen passengers who died in crashes were not wearing seat belts.
January 26, 2004 - January 1, 2020
The teen, identified as Kaniesha Sutton, was declared dead at the scene. Everyone else survived.
Allen is now in jail and accused of multiple felonies, including manslaughter. It is not known how Allen came to know Kaniesha.
On Thursday, Kaniesha's family spoke with FOX 10's Justin Lum on Thursday about the tragedy.
"Nobody's ever gonna be able to replace her," said Quintina Sutton, Kaniesha's mother.
Kaniesha's parents talked about the last call they received from her before the new year.
"She was asking me to send her $20, and I told her happy new year and I was gonna try to get it to her, and she said OK, I love you," said Quintina.
Allen, according to police, admitted to drinking earlier that night, and Allen's blood alcohol content was reportedly at .102
"Like, he took my daughter's life because he made a childish decision, and there's nothing we can say to bring her back," said Quintina.
"If you're intoxicated, don't get behind the wheel," said Rondre. "Call a taxi. Call an Uber. Call a friend."
Her grandmother, Natalie Baker, can't believe her baby girl is gone.
"She loved even when it was foolish, and that she cared even when nobody wanted her to, and when her body is gone, just remember she had the biggest heart," said Baker.
"I love her and I'll always think about her, and I just wish that she was here, and I was always proud of her," said Quintina. "She always inspired me. She was a great, great daughter."
Allen is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Friday, January 10.
GoFundMe for Kaniesha Sutton