ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Two teenagers are in a hospital with critical injuries and another has died after a crash involving a stolen Maserati.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said in a news conference Sunday that deputies in a helicopter responding to an unrelated burglary call at 3:30 a.m. in St. Petersburg saw three suspicious people walking in a neighborhood. Deputies in the helicopter watched as the group approached a 2016 Maserati parked in the driveway of a home and opened the vehicle’s door.
Gualtieri said the car’s owner left the keys inside the vehicle, and the group got inside the vehicle and began to drive it.
Deputies identified the driver as 15-year-old Keondrick Lang and his passengers as Mario Bonilla, 15, and Malachi Daniels, 16, WTVT reported.
Gualtieri said deputies in the helicopter watched as the car pulled out without lights on, drove over grass and a curb and went out onto the street. As deputies on the ground arrived and put their lights and sirens on, the Maserati accelerated, hitting speeds of 80 mph, the sheriff said.
Deputies did not pursue the vehicle, per department policy, The Tampa Bay Times reported. The car, however, did not slow and continued driving at more than twice the speed limit without its lights on.
Lang, who was driving the car, lost control of the vehicle, which crashed into a business, the sheriff said. “These are young kids. They’re inexperienced drivers, no drivers licenses, driving at 3:30 in the morning, 80 mph. And the car starts fishtailing all over the road, he had no control over the car.”
Deputies who responded to the crash said that Bonilla died at the scene. Daniels was taken to a hospital, and may not survive his injuries, WTVT reported. Lang was hospitalized with critical injuries but the sheriff said he is expected to survive.
The teenagers had no prior criminal history, but had been stopped together by police in Kenneth City walking through a neighborhood, dressed all in black, early in the morning, WTVT reported. At the time, their parents were called and no charges were filed.
“These kids were on that bad path and what we see with these kids time and again is they’re out in the middle of the night, they’re looking for cars to break into, they’re looking for cars to steal and these are, again, crimes of opportunity,” Gualtieri said.
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