Cops Charge Other Driver in Poway Crash That Killed Dad, Teen Son

Steve Pirolli, 54, and his 14-year-old son, Stephen, were killed in a car crash Feb. 12 after they left baseball practice at Poway High School

Left: 54-year-old Steve Pirolli, Right: 14-year-old Stephen Pirolli. The father and son died on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 in a car crash just outside of Poway High School.
Courtesy of Family

A teenager is under arrest, taken into custody by sheriff's deputies on criminal charges in connection to what investigators said was his role in the deaths of a father and his young son who died in a crash in Poway in February.

Steve Pirolli, 54, and his 14-year-old son, Stephen Pirolli, were leaving Poway High School on Feb. 12 after the teen finished baseball practice on the campus when the vehicle they were in was broadsided by a vehicle driven by 19-year-old Donald Lee Farmer.

A father and his teenage son were killed in a car crash Friday night at Poway high school. They were leaving baseball practice when the crash happened. NBC 7's Amber Frias spoke to the family who says the two were inseparable.

Steve Pirolli died at the scene and his son was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital, where he later died. Farmer was taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries after the crash

On Tuesday, the San Diego Sheriff's Department announced that Farmer was facing charges of gross vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of drugs causing bodily injury and driving without a license. Investigators said Farmer had been impaired and driving recklessly.

The father and son, who were from Rancho Bernardo, were a dynamic duo in which Stephen looked up to his father as a source for inspiration while Steve looked at his son as his pride and joy.

Steve Pirolli's brother told NBC 7 that his nephew and his father were inseparable.

“It’s hard to know that they’re not going to be around anymore,” Tom Pirolli said in February.

“We were having a late dinner, so we probably got a call at about 8 and we were there in 15 minutes,” Tom recalled about hearing of the tragedy.

“My brother was just so proud of Steven and whenever he did something great, he couldn’t wait to tell us about it,” Tom said. “And Steven was very proud of his dad. I think he was truly a role model.”

The two shared a love for baseball and Steve oftentimes would coach Stephen’s teams. The older Pirolli was described as a devoted father while his son is remembered as a wonderful young man.

“They were just incredibly close,” Tom said. “They went everywhere together, they did everything together. They would come over pretty frequently and I would almost never see one of them without the other.”

NBC 7's Dave Summers has what investigators know so far.

Tom said the family has received an overwhelming amount of support and he thanks the community for coming together to be there for his loved ones during this difficult time.

Farmer is being held at the San Diego Central Jail on $250,000 bail, according to the sheriff's department

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