CLEVELAND – A memorial of flowers, balloons and stuffed animals is growing at the corner of East 117th and Kinsman Road, where an SUV carrying 8 people crashed into a building early Saturday, killing three teenagers and injuring five others.
Police said a stolen Honda Pilot was speeding along Kinsman Road when it lost control around 3 a.m., then sliced through a telephone pole and smashed into the brick wall of the building.
“We ran outside and everybody was screaming and everything so we had to help them get out of the car,” said Bryant Simpson, who lives in an apartment above the crash scene and was startled awake. “It's nothing I want to see again; it was horrible.”
According to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office, the crash killed Diamond Williams, 17, of Warrensville Heights; Damond Lawrence, 19, of Maple Heights; and Demonta Wilson, 13, of Maple Heights.
Police said Sunday two other people were in critical condition and three were in stable condition. Police did not release their identities and said the investigation is ongoing. No charges have yet been filed. A friend of Williams said the group was heading to Warrensville Heights from downtown Cleveland.
“My sister was such a loving person. She always smiled. She brought joy to the world,” said Desiree Smith, Williams’ sister. “I would like to tell everybody thank you for being so supportive for my sister and the other victims that were killed.”
Police said the vehicle was stolen from Food Deal Convenience in Maple Heights around 11:30 p.m. on May 11. Surveillance video obtained by FOX 8 News showed two men who left the vehicle running when they entered the store. Less than a minute later, while they were still inside, the video showed a man enter the SUV and speed out of the parking lot onto Lee Road.
Maple Heights police said Monday that it’s too early to say if the person who stole the vehicle was involved in the crash.