One teen is dead and another ‘may not survive’ after they stole Maserati with keys still inside from Hurricane-Ian hit Florida county, then flipped the vehicle at high speed
- Mario Bonilla, 15, died in a fiery crash early Sunday morning after his friend, Keondrick Lang, 15, broke into an unlocked Maserati
- Lang drove the stolen vehicle at around 80mph before crashing into the side of a business and flipping the luxury vehicle
- Bonilla was pronounced dead on impact, while their other friend, Malachi Daniels, 16, is not expected to survive
- Lang was also bought to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries
A teenager is dead and his friend is in critical condition after they stole a Maserati with the keys still in the ignition in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Florida officials announced on Sunday that 15-year-old Mario Bonilla died in a fiery crash early that morning after his friend, Keondrick Lang, also 15, broke into an unlocked Maserati and drove it at a high rate of speed into the side of a building.
The luxury car then flipped over in the collision, and left their other friend, Malachi Daniels, 16 — who was sitting in the back seat — in critical condition.
Lang, meanwhile, is expected to survive, as the Pinellas County Sheriffs Department continues to investigate the fatal crash.
They are expected to provide more information at another press conference on Tuesday, where they will release footage dashcam and helicopter footage of the deadly crash.
Keondrick Lang, 15, stole an unlocked Maserati, which he crashed at 80mph into the side of a building in St. Petersburg early Sunday morning
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said on Sunday that deputies in a helicopter had spotted the teens steal the Maserati at around 3.20am as they were passing over the area on their way to bring another suspect into custody.
The deputies reported that Lang was using his shirt to pull door handles on cars parked in St Petersburg, so as not to leave any fingerprints, when he discovered that a Maserati was left unlocked on a driveway.
After he opened the car door, authorities say, Lang saw that the keys were still inside, and he and his friends jumped into the car.
‘We talk about this all the time,’ Gualtieri said. ‘People really need to lock their car doors, and don’t leave your keys in the car, but they do.
‘And when these kids are out in the middle of the night, and they’re stealing and breaking into cars, that’s what they’re looking for.’
The deputies in the air then promptly contacted their counterparts on the ground, who tried to stop the teens before they got away.
But Lang had already taken off, with ground units following the car and turning on their emergency lights.
The teen then apparently assumed the deputies were going to chase him, and took off at 80mph with no headlights on.
Unbeknownst to Lang, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has a policy not to engage in chases on the roadway, and they were then pursued by the helicopter, which kept track of their movements from the air.
Deputies in the copter then watched as Lang lost control of the vehicle, drove over a curb, collided with the side of a two-business building along 62nd Avenue, and flipped the luxury car.
‘These are young kids, they’re inexperienced drivers, no drivers’ licenses, driving 3.30 in the morning [at] 80mph,’ Gualtieri explained.
He said responding officers immediately rendered aid to the suspects, but Bonilla was pronounced dead at the scene.
Daniels, who was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries, also may not survive, Gualtieri announced at his news conference.
And Lang was transported also to the hospital with critical injuries, but is expected to survive.
The car owner, meanwhile, has been notified about the crash.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the boys’ parents were trying to get them on the right path
Authorities later found out that the three teens had been stopped by deputies in Kenneth City on September 11 after they were found to be walking through a residential neighborhood in the early morning hours.
At the time, FOX 13 reports, the children’s parents were called and the teens were returned home.
‘These kids were on that bad path,’ Gualtieri said at Sunday’s news conference.
He added that the parents appeared to be distraught about the crash this morning, saying they had thought their children were still in bed at the time.
”One of the kids shared a room with a younger sibling, and from what I understand, from the deputies talking to the parents this morning, is that the younger sibling didn’t even know he left,’ Gualtieri said.
The parents had been trying to correct their sons’ behaviors, he noted, with one even recently transferring their boy to a nearby school for a fresh start.
‘You gotta feel for these parents because the know the issues you got with 15, 16 year old kids. They’re trying to do something about it, trying to be aware of it, and the kid sneaks out.
‘Sometimes bad things are going to happen.’
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