WARREN, Ohio (AP) — Investigators spent Monday trying to
piece together why eight teenagers were crammed into a speeding SUV
without the owner's permission when it flipped over into a pond, killing
six of them.
gave no details on where the group of friends had been and why they were
out around daybreak Sunday. But the father of one of the dead said they
were coming home from a sleepover at a friend's house.
No one in the
group had asked to take the vehicle, and its owner was not related to any
of the teens, said State Highway Patrol Lt. Brian Holt. It was registered
to someone from Youngstown, about 20 miles away.
"That's all we
know right now," Holt said.
said the SUV hit a guardrail on a two-lane road in an industrial section
of town and landed upside down in about 5 feet of water, filling up in a
matter of minutes, Holt said. Five boys and a young woman, ages 14 to 19,
smashed a rear window, wriggled out of the wreckage and swam away, then
ran a quarter-mile to a home to call 911, authorities said. Brian Henry,
18, and Asher Lewis, 15, suffered only minor injuries.
said they believe excessive speed was a key factor in the crash, which
took place in a 35 mph zone, but they did not say how fast the SUV was
going. They were also awaiting the results of drug and alcohol tests.
teenagers were from Warren, a mostly blue-collar city of 41,000 near the
Pennsylvania line, about 60 miles east of Cleveland.
Sr., whose son Andrique was among those killed, said Monday that his son
and the others had all stayed over at a friend's house and that a girl
offered them a ride home.
16, said he used to see most of the victims every day at school and in
their neighborhood. He knew all but two in the crash.
always the best kids. They're not out there looking for straight A's," he
said. "But none of these kids should be where they are today. This should
have never had happened."
Five of the
dead were trapped inside the sunken SUV. A sixth was thrown from the
vehicle and was found underneath it when it was taken out of the water.
identified them as the 19-year-old driver, Alexis Cayson; Andrique
Bennett, 14; Brandon Murray, 14; and Kirklan Behner, Ramone White and
Daylan Ray, all 15.
"All I know is
my baby is gone," said Derrick Ray, who came to the crash site after
viewing his 15-year-old son Daylan's body at the morgue. He said he knew
that his son, a football player who was looking forward to playing in high
school, was out with friends, but didn't know their plans.
Some but not
all the teens were wearing seat belts, Holt said. The 1998 Honda Passport
is designed to seat five and has only five sets of seat belts.