'I thought for a minute that was it.' Teens reflect on Canyon Lake crash

Posted at 4:28 PM, Mar 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 18:29:50-05

Even with a broken tailbone, Brody Hazuda knows he's lucky.

"I thought for a minute that was it. We all got so lucky," Hazuda said. The teen was with 7 friends when an unexpected turn on State Route 88 caught the driver off guard and the SUV they were in plunged into Canyon Lake Sunday night.

"I looked in the water and I was freaking out because I thought all of my friends were trapped under the water," another of the teens, Hunter Aguilera, said.  

Aguilera said he was ejected from the GMC Yukon just before it hit the water. Hazuda said he was thrown into the water just as the vehicle rolled in. He and the others managed to swim through the broken windows to safety.  

The teens are all Red Mountain High School students and were headed to Tortilla Flat to explore a building that was rumored to be haunted. They said they were not drinking or driving recklessly, rather the driver just lost control on an unexpected curve.

"I definitely think we got super lucky," Hazuda said. "You don't see too many accidents like that not have serious injury or death."  

Aguilera said he and another teen climbed out of the ravine and flagged down a car for help. He said two cars passed by before a third stopped to help. All teens are expected to recover.

The stretch of road where the crash happened saw 37 incidents in 2015 resulting in 19 reported injuries, according to data from the Arizona Department of Transportation. See the latest data from ADOT in the map below.