POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A Pompano Beach community remained emotional one day after a late-night crash that killed two girls and sent five other minors to the hospital.
Pompano Beach Middle School students returned to class remembering their classmate, 12-year-old Chayanna Nesmith, who died after, authorities said, the stolen car she and six other minors were riding in veered off the road and slammed into a pole, early Sunday morning.
“We knew her from around the school,” said student Montel Thomas. “Everyone used to talk about her, how good of a friend she was to everyone.”
Some of the teens inside the car also attended Pompano Beach Middle School.
“No child deserves to die,” said a student.
Relatives told 7News Nesmith’s 13-year-old sister Teeanna was also hurt in the crash but survived.
“She has a couple of broken bones and bruises,” said Debra Lesane, the girls’ grandmother.
Speaking with 7News on Monday, the girls’ aunt, Kat, said she is still grappling with the tragedy. “It’s just rough. I don’t understand,” she said.
Kat said the entire family is still coming to terms with the actions that led to the crash. “They were just joyriding, kids. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time,” she said.
Kat’s two sisters were also in the stolen car — 12-year-old Ashanti Johnson and 13-year-old Anaija Johnson.
Anaija did not survive. “She was a beautiful person, inside and out,” said Kat.
Detectives said the crash happened near the intersection of Northwest 15th Street and 11th Avenue, at around 3 a.m. The occupants, ages 12 to 14 years old, were riding in what investigators discovered was a stolen car from Coconut Creek.
Officials identified the driver of the 2007 Toyota sedan as 14-year-old Elijah Wilson.
“Apparently, the vehicle was heading westbound on Northwest 15th Street when it lost control, veered off the roadway, ended up striking one of the poles from a railroad track,” said Broward Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Keyla Concepcion. “[The car] ended up flipping over, landing on the railroad tracks.”
Detectives said Anaija was killed instantly. Paramedics transported the remaining six occupants to Broward Health Medical Center, where Nesmith later died.
A parent, Natalie Prieto, said she has given advice to her daughter after hearing of the news.
“I told her to pray for them,” said Prieto. “It’s very scary. That’s why I don’t – I keep a tight leash on her.”
“Really, I’m in a state of shock,” said Lesane. “Just still praying for Teeanna as she recovers and is able to deal with coming to grips with losing her sister.”
Residents are hoping others learn from this tragedy.
“We only have one life to live on this beautiful earth,” said resident Tressie Wilson. “I don’t want anybody else to go through that.”
Meanwhile, Kat has a message for other teens who may be considering going on a joyride. “Think about it before you do it,” she said. “If it doesn’t feel right, doesn’t look right, don’t do it.”
Loved ones said Chayanna and Teeanna’s mother had dropped them off at a movie theater. They were later picked up by the group in the stolen car.
The five teens in the hospital continue to recover and their conditions remain unknown.
The investigation into the crash also continues.
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