LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (WWSB) - A Sarasota teen was killed and three others were injured after their car overturned and went airborne.
It happened on the intersection of University Park and Blithe Avenue around 11:14 p.m. Friday night.
The Sarasota County School District has confirmed that the teen that was killed was a student at Sarasota High School.
According to Florida Highway Patrol, the car was driven by a 17-year-old from Apopka. They say the car was traveling east on University Parkway, approaching Blithe Avenue, when the teen failed to maintain control of the vehicle. Somehow the car traveled off the roadway to the right, onto the southern grassy shoulder of University Parkway. The car then began to rotate then collided with a concrete culvert and became airborne.
Troopers say while airborne, the car struck a utility pole and then overturned.
They also say the front passenger, a 16-year-old Sarasota boy, was killed. The back passengers, 15-year-old and 16-year-old were thrown from the car and were seriously hurt.
Flowers now lie where a 16-year-old Sarasota High School student lost his life on Friday night during a deadly crash in Lakewood Ranch.
“Based on some witness statements we do believe speed was a factor,” said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Kenn Watson. “The driver of that vehicle began to lose control, entered the grassy shoulder,” said Watson.
Troopers say the Tesla began to rotate and hit a concrete culvert.
“Became airborne and then struck a telephone pole,” said Watson.
Near that pond lies pieces of the car and those flowers someone dropped off on Saturday.
“This is where families are supposed to be together enjoying the holiday and unfortunately a tragedy like these strikes,” said Watson.
As a family mourns, homicide investigators say there are criminal charges pending as they dig deeper into what unfolded.
“Based on the investigation we are looking at an extreme rate of speed and we want to make sure our driver was not impaired,” said Watson.
For now, answers are limited and the utility pole damaged in the crash has been fixed.