DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is investigating a crash involving multiple fatalities on Interstate 95 (I-95) near Daytona Beach.
The Volusia County County Sheriff's Office said the crash involved a fleeing suspect in an armed carjacking in Orange County. The suspect fled from Flagler County deputies, turned off his lights, and entered Volusia County.
At around 7 p.m., officials said the suspect made a U-turn on I-95, heading north in the southbound lanes. He then hit an oncoming vehicle head-on in the area of exit 260A.
FHP said three people have been confirmed dead, including the suspect, and two others are injured but in stable condition. The deceased victims were later identified as a 21-year-old and an 18-year-old. They were brother and sister. The two victims injured are just 13-years-old and 17-years-old.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood became overwhelmed with emotion as he spoke about the crash at a press briefing Wednesday.
"This time of the year and every time of the year you should hold your family a little closer because some family’s not doing that tonight," he said.
He said the victims were on their way home from seeing a holiday display in Daytona Beach.
"Those kids are coming back from Christmas lights at the Speedway, and they’re following their family and the family gets on I-4, they miss the exit at the same time that this murdering thug is barrelling the wrong-way on I-95 and he hits them head-on," he explained.
The carjacking suspect who died was also reportedly identified as a 47-year-old man from Orlando. He is said to have had a revoked license since January 2000.
"He murdered those kids as if he put a gun to both their heads and shot them. It’s the same exact thing," he said.
Chitwood said the suspect was a career criminal with 50 prior arrests.
A GoFundMe account has been established for the family of the victims. You can find more information here.
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