Three teens killed in Pinellas County after high-speed wreck

Three juveniles were killed early Sunday in car crash involving stolen vehicles in Pinellas County, according to Bay News 9.

The crash occurred around 4 a.m. at the intersection of Tampa Road and U.S. 19, the station reported.

During a news conference Sunday morning, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told Bay News 9 that six juvenile males were playing “a cat-and-mouse game” while speeding down Tampa Road in two stolen vehicles when one vehicle crashed into a citizen’s car.

The two vehicles, a Chrysler Sebring and Ford Explorer, were stolen on Aug. 3 from Platinum Plus Autos in Clearwater, according to the sheriff.

The Explorer was traveling more than 100 mph when it crashed into a citizen’s car at the intersection of U.S. 19, the sheriff stated.

The Explorer went airborne, rolled down the road and burst into flames.

Three of the juveniles in the car were killed and a fourth was transported to Bayfront Medical Center, Gualtieri said.

The incident started around 1 a.m. Sunday when a deputy spotted the Ford Explorer and tried to stop it, Gualtieri said. The stolen vehicle fled and the deputy did not follow.

Deputies set up a perimeter searching for the stolen vehicles and later spotted them speeding westbound down Tampa Road, Gualtieri added.

Gualtieri said the sheriff's office does not pursue stolen vehicles and the deputies turned around before the crash occurred.

The Sebring was not involved in the crash and fled toward Sunset Point and Keene Road, according to the sheriff. Two juvenile males in the Sebring later fled on foot. They were later caught and taken into custody, Gualtieri added.

The three deceased males had extensive criminal histories and one was just released from jail on July 31, according to the sheriff.

Gualtieri said charges are expected against the two males in custody and the one in the hospital.

Richard Dymond: 941-745-7072, @RichardDymond