ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Two people were killed early Monday in a crash in St. Pete.

  • 2 dead in St. Pete crash
  • Single vehicle went off road, hit tree
  • Crash remains under investigation
  • BN9 Traffic resources

According to St. Petersburg police, the vehicle involved in the crash was stolen. 

Police said the driver of the stolen 2016 Mazda Miata was westbound on 38th Avenue North just before 3:30 a.m. and lost control of the vehicle while speeding toward the intersection at 49th Street North. 

The car swerved off the road and hit a tree, catching fire and killing the two occupants. They have been identified as Damari Milton, 18, and Dequante Lightsey, 16.

"He was in our original Right Field program back in 2011 at the Poynter Institute," said Kenny Irby, community intervention director for St. Pete Police Dept. "So I’ve known him through high school, and have seen him going astray, and redirect, and going through the struggles of trying to do the right thing, and also deal with the temptations of peer pressure."

The crash, which closed a section of 38th Avenue for several hours, remains under investigation. 

This is just the latest case where young people in a stolen car were killed in a crash.

Three teenaged girls were killed when the stolen car they were in sank to the bottom of a pond in Pinellas County in 2016.

Last year, three teen boys were killed in a fiery crash while driving a stolen car.

Irby hopes this latest case serves as a wakeup call.

"My message has always been, and I think it has to be a clarion call, to tell kids to be leaders and not followers, and to walk away when they know illegal activity is underway," Irby said.

"Don’t get in the car when you know those individuals don’t have a driver's license and it’s not their vehicle, and I really want them to understand that these opportunities, situations like this, they don’t get resets. It’s a finality to this. These two young lives are lost."