VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WESH)— Two siblings died in a head-on crash after viewing Christmas lights at the Daytona International Speedway.
Authorities said the person who crashed into them was a suspected armed carjacker.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said the alleged carjacking happened in Orange County. The suspect was fleeing from Orange County, turned off his lights and entered into Volusia County, deputies said.
Deputies said they began to pursue the fleeing car, that made a U-Turn on I-95 around 7 p.m. Tuesday. Officials said the man reached speeds of over 110 MPH.
Authorities said they then stopped pursuing the car and tried to stop oncoming southbound traffic as the suspect was driving the wrong way on the roadway.
Officials said the alleged carjacker hit an oncoming vehicle head-on around exit 260A.
Florida Highway Patrol said the three people who were killed includes the driver.
Authorities said the victims included the 21-year-old man and his 18-year-old sister. The siblings; 13-year-old brother and 17-year-old cousin, who were both in the back seat during the crash, were taken to hospitals.
Officials said the victims had been on their way back from seeing Christmas lights in the area.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said Wednesday during a news conference the suspect had a 200 page record and 50 prior arrests. A statement from him is posted, below.
The following statement was issued by Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood:
“Last night, a horrific tragedy took two innocent, young lives from a family on their way home from seeing Christmas lights. A suspect in an armed carjacking fled from law enforcement at speeds over 110 mph, made a U-turn into oncoming traffic on I-95, and caused a fatal head-on crash.
The victims who lost their lives were 18 and 21. The children in the back seat, who survived, are 13 and 17. My heart is broken for them, their parents, their entire family. I can’t imagine facing a loss like this, having to endure such unspeakable pain caused by such a senseless act.
We see so many terrible things in this job. But in looking at the faces of all the deputies, troopers, firefighters and paramedics on scene last night, I believe this tragedy was especially difficult for even the most experienced of us to process.
My deepest condolences are with this family, and my thoughts have not left them since I came home from that terrible scene last night. Please keep them in your prayers if you are one who prays. I am praying that the memories of their loved ones lends this family the strength they need to grieve and endure a loss that would bring any of us to our knees.”