A 17-year-old student remained in critical condition Wednesday morning after she was struck Tuesday by a Chevy Tahoe in a crosswalk near Newport Harbor High School. The woman behind the wheel was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, police said.
Michael Vossen, principal of Newport Harbor High School, said Crystal Morales was crossing Irvine Avenue at Margaret Drive about 2:50 p.m. when she was struck by an SUV traveling in the No. 1 lane, closest to the center divider.
The teen was taken to Western Medical Center and is in the Critical Care Unit. She suffered head trauma, internal bleeding, brain swelling and other internal injuries.
"The latest update that we have is that doctors are working on controlling the bleeding by inducing a coma with assistive breathing for the next two weeks so she can be in the best possible recovery setting," Vossen said in an email to Newport Beach Patch.
Vossen said crisis counseling would be available Wednesday to any student affected by this incident and the school would work on improving crosswalk safety.
"We will continue to work with the NBPD and the city of Newport Beach to ensure as much is being done as possible to ensure the safety of our students," he said.
The driver of the Chevy, Marnie J. Lippincott, 38, of Costa Mesa, stopped at the scene. She was later arrested, although it was unclear if her alleged intoxication was from narcotics or alcohol, said Newport Beach police spokeswoman Kathy Lowe.
She was being held on $100,000 bail, according to arrest records. Her first court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.
Court records show Marnie Jo Lippincott has a string of convictions, including for grand theft, burglary and obtaining prescriptions by fraud and forgery.