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A sneezing fit caused a driver to strike two teens who were crossing a Hemet street together Monday, police said.

A 16-year-old pedestrian was hospitalized in critical condition and a 17-year-old bicyclist was in stable condition, said Hemet police Sgt. Dan Reinbolt.

The crash occurred at 12:20 p.m. when the driver was heading north on State Street at about 40 mph and “began to sneeze rapidly,” Reinbolt said.

The driver apparently did not see the two victims who were traveling south on the northbound side of the roadway, against traffic, and struck them simultaneously, according to Reinbolt.

The driver stopped at the scene, cooperated with police and voluntarily provided a blood sample to authorities, he said.

Police did not suspect alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.

Northbound State Street was closed from Domenigoni Parkway to Chambers Street for about two and a half hours after the crash while an investigation was conducted.

–City News Service

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