Teens’ first accident report false, officials say
Investigators said a South Tahoe High senior’s serious head injury last month was caused by a vehicle accident, not a fall on stairs as her friends first claimed.
When Talia Jaureguito, 17, was brought by some friends to Barton Memorial Hospital on Nov. 13, they told doctors “Tali” was at a party and fell down a flight of stairs.
Airlifted to Washoe Medical Center with a fractured skull and swelling on her brain, Tali was then hospitalized for six days.
Tali’s father, Tim Jaureguito, South Lake Tahoe’s varsity football and girls’ basketball coach, didn’t believe the teens’ explanation of the accident and asked the California Highway Patrol to investigate.
CHP investigators got a different story from the teen-agers. According to the CHP report, Tali was on the trunk of a 17-year-old boy’s car outside her friend’s home on Plateau Circle. The driver sped off causing Tali to fall off the trunk and strike her head on the pavement, officers said. The accident allegedly occurred around 9:30 p.m., but Tali wasn’t taken to the hospital for another hour and half.
Jaureguito was called to the hospital around 11:30 p.m.
Tali remembers nothing about the accident.
“When it gets to the point of the accident she remembers nothing,” Jaureguito said. “She’s missing about four days.”
The driver of the car involved in the accident could be cited for three violations: speeding, not notifying authorities about the accident and allowing a passenger to ride on a portion of the vehicle not intended for passengers.
CHP has not decided whether to press charges against the driver.
Jaureguito said his daughter was as disappointed as he was that her friends lied about how she was hurt.
“It’s upsetting. The fact remains that they lied and it doesn’t make any difference for what reason,” Jaureguito said. “Ideally, 911 should have been called immediately. Then she would have received medical help and an investigation could have been done right away. The boys involved could have been tested for alcohol.”
Tali started back to half days at school this week. Doctors have forbidden any type of contact sport for Tali for at least six months, effectively ending her varsity basketball career. She plans to stay involved with the team by videotaping the games.
The swelling on Tali’s brain has decreased. But a full recovery will take some time. Still, she remains upbeat.
“I’m involved in so many things. I’ll find other things to do that don’t involve contact,” Tali said Monday, after her first day back. “The accident made me really appreciative of life. It’s amazing how fast accidents can happen. I never really realized that until now. I think it also made a lot of people at school realize it too.”
In regard to her memory loss, Tali said she’s still getting use to it.
“It’s weird, not remembering and hearing eight different stories about what happened to you,” she said.
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