Driver charged in fatal head-on crash with stolen vehicle

By Rick Elmhorst, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, April 08, 2015, 4:03 PM EDT

The family of a Lakeland man killed in a fatal car crash Friday is reacting to charges being filed in the crash.

Police have arrested 20-year-old Antonio Jones on a vehicular homicide charge along with burglary, grand theft and fleeing to elude.

Officers said Jones was driving a stolen SUV when it crashed head on into Matthew Smith's vehicle on North Galloway Road Friday evening. Smith died at the scene.

Smith was on his way home to his family at the time of the crash. He had left a voice mail message for his fiancée Emily Herndon before the crash. She is pleased with news of the charges against Jones.

"I am just filled with anger. I just hope that he is punished for what he did," said Herndon.

There were five passengers in the stolen vehicle. They included two adults and three juveniles. LPD said Jones and four of the passengers were documented gang members.

"I hope all of them regret this for the rest of their lives because they tore about a big family," said Herndon. "We have to deal with this day by day and have to live with this the rest of our lives."

Family friend Brandy Speights was also hoping that the passengers in the stolen vehicle would also face charges.

"I know 100 percent they did not intend to do what they did but when you take those kind of steps you take the consequences," she said.

LPD sergeant Gary Gross said Antonio Jones and four of the passengers remained hospitalized Wednesday after while being treated for their crash injuries.