In just minutes, the lives of four teens changed forever. One died. His three friends were injured, one so seriously she still has several surgeries ahead of her at Tampa General Hospital.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers say Kevin Monaco, 16, was behind the wheel of a Dodge Caravan driving on Lake Forest Circle in Port Richey at 2:55 p.m. on Friday.
As he approached a curve near Forest Lake Drive, troopers say he “failed to negotiate the curve safely” and ran off the road.
The minivan hit a tree and burst into flames. Two neighbors rushed to the scene and tried to pull all the teens to safety. Monaco did not survive. The other three passengers were taken to area hospitals for treatment.
Friends and neighbors have now set up a memorial at the base of the burnt tree.
Jamie Florio, 16, is still at TGH with serious injuries. Michael Morgan, 17, and Megan Kahn, 16, are now recovering at home.
All three passengers were students at Ridgewood High School. Monaco was home schooled.