Aunt of Riviera Beach teen killed in car crash remembers her niece, Shonteria Grimsley
10:09 PM, Apr 13, 2013
5:04 PM, Apr 14, 2013
RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - Two young men and three teenaged girls inside a Lexus were killed when authorities say a Mercedes slammed into it on Blue Heron Boulevard in Riviera Beach after midnight Saturday morning.
Shayla Barnes, the aunt of one of the teens, 17-year-old Shonteria Grimsley, said Grimsley was the second oldest of 21 grandchildren. Barnes said Shonteria was her brother's daughter and Shonteria was nicknamed "Shay" after her.
"We're not coping very well," said Barnes. "We're still in disbelief, because we haven't seen her. This is so hard to accept."
Barnes said she keeps wishing this was all a bad dream.
"She was loved, and was always at every family function," Barnes said. "Our family is very close, so she will be missed."
Florida Highway Patrol troopers say Jason Mahlung, 22, of Riviera Beach was driving four passengers in a Lexus, including Grimsley. According to reports, a Mercedes ran a red light on the exit ramp, and rammed into the Lexus.
The Lexus was driving eastbound in the center lane on Blue Heron Boulevard, when it was hit by the Mercedes coming off the exit ramp. Both vehicles traveled over the median, landing in the westbound lanes of traffic.
21-year-old Jabari Kemp of Florida City was driving the Mercedes. He's in serious condition at St. Mary's Medical Center.
Three of Mahlung's passengers in the backseat died at the scene: Grimsley, 14-year-old Makita Campbell, and 17-year-old Christina Joseph, all of Riviera Beach. They were not wearing seatbelts.
The front-seat passenger who was killed has not yet been identified, but Florida Highway Patrol says the young man was 22 years old.
Joevin Casimir was driving a third car that was hit by flying debris of the other two cars. He said he heard what sounded like an explosion, before something flew through his back window.
Investigators are still looking into whether or not alcohol played a factor in the crash, and charges are pending.
A spokesperson for the Palm Beach County School District said there will be grief counselors at schools on Monday, but he did not say what schools the teenagers attended.