ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — In the wake of another fatal crash in St. Petersburg involving a stolen car, local and state leaders stood together on the steps of City Hall Monday evening, calling on other lawmakers and community members to do more.
- St. Pete non-profit stepping up effort to stop teen car thefts
- 4 young men in stolen car crashed into women Saturday
- Woman, 67, has serious injuries and daughter, 46 critically injured
A mother and daughter remain hospitalized after this latest St. Petersburg crash. Four young men in the stolen car crashed into the women on Saturday afternoon.
The 46-year-old woman in the remains in critical condition while her 67-year-old mother has serious injuries.
Taking a stand
The crash proved to be the last straw for the leaders of I Support Youth, a non-profit group that mentors young people, both boys and girls, with fitness, college prep and community service programs.
"We need all hands on deck," said the group's founder, Lewis Stephens, during an impromptu press conference on the steps of City Hall Monday. "We’re not here to blame anybody, but what we’re trying to say is, is if that we can all come together, if we can all come to the table, you will definitely see a change that’s taking place inside of our community."
The group's leaders met with local and state government officials at City Hall Monday evening. They're on a mission to push young people away from the peer pressure that some blame the city's car theft epidemic on.
"Once again, we are here, talking about more children dying," said attorney Michelle Rayner. "Dying deaths that are preventable."
Preventable deaths such as Dequante Lightsey, 16, and Damari Milton, 18, who died less than a week ago when the stolen car they were driving hit a tree and caught fire. In total over the past three years, 11 teens have died in St. Petersburg crashing stolen cars.
Local leaders like Rep. Wengay Newton offered their ideas on how to combat what they consider a crisis. Their number one solution — jobs.
"My challenge is simple: you put together a million dollars," Newton said during the press conference. "JWB fund a million dollars. The city, county commission fund a million dollars, and if the school board could put up a million that would be fine, too. I’ll take that $4 million to Tallahassee and bring back eight."
Jaquez Rouse, 18, Lazarius Faulk, 19, Carl McKinley, 20 and Clifford Washington, 19 (L to R) all face felony charges of grand theft motor vehicle.
St. Petersburg police said the stolen vehicle was spotted by officers but there was no pursuit of the car prior to Saturday's crash.
Carl McKinley, 20; Lazarius Faulk, 19; Clifford Washington, 19; and Jaquez Rouse, 18, are all facing face felony charges of grand theft motor vehicle in Saturday's crash.