PINELLAS PARK (FOX 13) - A father riding in a small car packed with five teenagers, including his own son, was killed in a violent wreck along Park Boulevard Tuesday night. Police said Wednesday it may have been a street race - that got someone killed.
Pinellas Park PD says a 15-year-old girl was behind the wheel of a Mazda 3 that slammed into a tree, killing the adult sitting next to her, 36-year-old Glenis Mullins, III.
The impact was so severe that the car’s engine was thrown completely from the vehicle, landing 50 feet away.
"I saw the motor go flying," said Anthony Highnote, who was driving behind them. "It whacked the side of an Advance truck."
Police say it happened around 11 p.m. The Mazda 3, driven by a still-unidentified 15-year-old girl, may have tried to race a Nissan containing two strangers. Police believe a third unsuspecting driver pulled onto Park Blvd. and inadvertently caused one of the speeding vehicles to hit the other.
Highnote says he saw the Mazda 3 and the Nissan playing chicken just before the crash.
"Once they made the straightaway onto Park Blvd they just kind of took off and left me," Highnote said. "I could see them in the distance. They were definitely going over the speed limit."
Five teenagers, including Mullins’ 15-year-old son, Justice, were also in the car. One was riding in the hatchback according to police.
"[He survived] through the grace of somebody looking out for him," said Sgt. Mike Lynch of Pinellas Park Police. "It is a miracle no one else was seriously injured."
Those in the other allegedly speeding Nissan, 27-year-old Andrew Lightsey and 19-year-old Sierra Clarke, were not badly injured.
Now police are trying to figure out who could face charges, including the 15-year-old driver of the car that crashed.
"[There was] an adult in the car, so that does make some difference," said Lynch. "We are looking at the circumstances behind that, and why was she behind the wheel versus the adult."
Highnote says the whole thing has shaken him up, knowing he saw the last moments of someone's life.
"At the end of the day they were irresponsible, but that is still someone's dad and it is very sad to hear that. My prayers go out to their families."
Pinellas Park Police says they have an aggressive Traffic Safety Unit and will look to see if any improvements can be made to Park Blvd. to avoid another crash like this one.