Two girls have died after a stolen car full of children aged between 12 and 14 crashed and flipped over onto railway tracks in Florida’s Pompano Beach.
Five other children were injured after the vehicle veered off the road and crashed on CSX railroad tracks near the 1000 block of Northwest 15th Street, at around 3 a.m. on Sunday morning (April 15).
One of the girls killed in the crash has been named by family members as 12-year-old Chayanna “Cha Cha” Nesmith, reports the Sun-Sentinel.
Her 13-year-old sister was also hurt in the crash along with four others—one boy and three girls.
The injured children were taken to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale for treatment. The name of the other girl killed who died in the incident has not been revealed.
Debra Lesane, grandmother of the Nesmith sisters, gave an update on the surviving sibling’s recovery. “She’s doing really well considering the other children’s conditions. A couple of broken bones and injuries,” she told WFOR-TV.
Police are yet to formally identify any of the victims of the car crash.
An investigation is underway to determine why the children were in the stolen Toyota Sedan in the first place.
Lesane told WTVJ she believed most of the children were returning from a movie theatre when they got into a fight with another group of youths. The boy driving the Toyota then picked up the girls in order to take them away from the altercation.
“If anyone was in the area at the time and they may have some information provided to our detectives, we welcome that information,” said Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion.
Respects have been paid to the families of those involved in the fatal crash.
“Our prayers and condolences for our families and community grieving this terrible loss,” tweeted Broward Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie.
Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho added in a tweet: “My condolences to the families of these teenagers. An error in judgment as a young person should not lead to this kind of tragedy.”