Authorities say that the three teens who were killed early Sunday morning in a fiery crash in Palm Harbor, Florida were traveling more than 100 mph in a stolen car. According to NBC-2 News, at around 4:30 p.m., officers spotted two stolen cars, a Ford Explorer and a Chrysler Sebring, playing a game of cat-and-mouse on Tampa Road.
When deputies tried to make a traffic stop, the driver of the Explorer purportedly sped off at an exceeding speed of 100 mph. The sheriff stated that as the vehicle was driving through the intersection of US-19 and Tampa Road, it crashed into “an uninvolved gray car driven by 29-year-old Ricky Melendez,” who sustained minor injuries in the Palm Harbor crash.
The impact of the crash sent the Explorer airborne and afterward, slammed into several vehicles at a car dealership before it rolled, flipped into other objects on the road, including a billboard pole.
The vehicle burst into flames before coming to a halt, killing three teens, identified as 16-year-old Keontae Brown, Jimmie Goshey, 14, and 16-year-old Dejarae Thomas.
The surviving teen, Keondrae Brown, 14, was taken to All Children’s Hospital—his condition is unknown at this time.
Two other teens, 16-year-old Deyon Kaigler and Kamal Campbell, 18, who traveled in a stolen Chrysler Sebring, were arrested a short time after the crash. Deputies say the teens were found on Sunset Point Road.
Deyon and Campbell were charged with “one count of grand theft auto, and one count of resisting arrest without violence.”
It was reported that Deyon called his mother from the Juvenile Detention Center and told her that he sat in the stolen vehicle, watching as his friends crashed at the intersection. He went on to say that “all he saw was bodies flying out of the window,” according to his mother. She added that Deyon began to cry as he told her that he didn’t “want to do this anymore.”
During a news conference, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri stated that all teens involved had an extensive criminal record and were linked to a rash of robberies in the area—some of the teens had been released from a detention center just a few days before the deadly Palm Harbor crash.
The vehicles the teens were traveling in was stolen from a car dealership in Clearwater, and deputies believe that they were planning to use the vehicles to commit burglaries.
Just hours after the three teens were killed in a fiery crash at the intersection of US-19 and Tampa Road, relatives and friends gathered outside Clearwater’s North Greenwood Recreation Center with candles to remember them.
Gualtieri stated that “this needs to stop. It’s a deadly game,” and “these kids have got to stop this.”
The investigation into the deadly Palm Harbor crash continues.
[Featured Image by Carl Ballou/iStock]