Port Richey, Florida - One teenager is dead and three others are hurt after a fiery crash. Tonight, the families are in mourning, but they are also thanking two witnesses who did what they could to help save three of the victims from the burning car.
It all happened on Lake Forest Circle yesterday afternoon. There are flowers near a scorched tree, the scene of the crash, along with a note to the victim who died: "I'll never forget you. I'm sorry."
"There was nothing I could say to his brother. Just told him I was very sorry," Jennifer Paige said. She heard tires screeching, saw flames, then heard screams for help. "He looked right at me and asked me to help him." She said she tried desperately, but 16-year-old Kevin Monaco, the driver, died in the crash.
James Dowd brought a sledge hammer and crowbars to help. "I tried to get the driver out. No matter what I did I couldn't pop that door. The flames were shooting out, over me, past him."
The passengers, Jamie Florio, Megan Kahn, and Michael Morgan, got out safely.
"The first thing I said was, 'Can I hug you?' I gave her a big hug." Today at the scene, Morgan's mother, Kelli Welch, met the two witnesses who helped. "They saved my son. I feel blessed to have him, but so deeply sorry for the family that lost their son."
Paige said with tears down her cheeks, "I am so, so, so sorry to Kevin's mom."
There has been an outpouring of support for the driver on his Facebook page from friends.
Family responded by saying in a statement, "Our family is devastated. Let's all learn from this and never take our friends or family for granted."
Authorities don't believe the crash was alcohol related, but did say the driver lost control coming around a turn.
Monaco was homeschooled and last attended Bayonet Middle School two years ago. The other three were students at Ridgewood High School. School officials say Morgan and Florio have serious injuries, Welch has minor injuries.