A head-on car crash Wednesday in Sterling Heights has claimed one life and left two teens in critical condition, police said.

The crash happened at about 2:50 p.m. on Utica Road west of Hayes Road, according to officials.

A preliminary investigation showed a Buick Century improperly tried to pass another vehicle on Utica Road’s gravel shoulder while both cars traveled north on the roadway.

As the Buick tried to re-enter the road, the driver lost control and slid sideways into the path of a mini-van traveling south, police said Thursday.

The crash caused significant damage to the Buick and all three of its occupants — including two 14-year-olds — were trapped inside, officials said.

Firefighters extricated the Buick’s occupants and all five people involved in the accident were taken to a hospital, authorities also said.

The Buick’s driver was declared deceased at the hospital. The two teens were transported to Children’s Hospital in Detroit where they are listed in critical condition, police said.

The mini-van’s two occupants are in stable condition, they also said.

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