A family is heartbroken after a group of teenagers took a family member's vehicle on a joyride through San Diego, which ended in a crash that killed their oldest son and two others while gravely injuring their second son.
The deadly crash happened in the Mount Hope neighborhood at about 11p.m. Tuesday night, after San Diego police attempted to stop what they believed was a stolen vehicle. Instead, the Honda Pilot took off, eventually crashing into a light pole at a speed of about 100 miles per hour.
Three teens were killed in the crash, including 17-year-old Daniel Montano. Daniel's brother, 15-year-old Julian, was gravely injured.
"No one is going to bring our kids back," said Daniel's mother, Rose Montano. "No one is going to take back what took place. All we can do is try to make it better, make sure this doesn't happen to another family."
According to a GoFundMe page, 15-year-old Dashaun Heard was also killed. The other teenager killed has not yet been identified.
Rose Montano said she doesn't know exactly what happened that night but she wants answers. She knows that night, she dropped her sons off at their father Rito Montano's house, where they were grilling in the backyard with friends. Rito Montano said he went upstairs to take a shower and when he came back, they were gone.
Both attempted to call their sons, but didn't hear back.
"I just felt something in the pit of my stomach. It's hard to explain but I just felt like something was wrong, there's something wrong and I told their dad, 'Something's wrong, something's not right, they're not OK.'"
Rito Montano added, "the first time I called [Julian], I already knew something was off because he would always answer the phone, if not, call right back."
The next day, their worst nightmare was realized.
Family members said the group of teenagers took off in a vehicle taken from one of their grandmothers in Chula Vista.
SDPD said they spotted the vehicle without its headlights, ran the plates and attempted to pull the driver over when they realized it was reported stolen by the Chula Vista Police Department. Instead of stopping, the driver took off. At one point, officers on the ground lost sight of the vehicle but a police helicopter was flying overhead when the vehicle crashed.
At least two passengers became trapped in the wreck, SDPD Officer John Buttle said. It appeared none were wearing seatbelts.
Within an hour, those two passengers and the vehicle's driver were declared dead. Julian Montano was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries that he was expected to survive but his mother says his injuries are life-changing.
"He lost his leg. They had to put his arm back together. He’s not well.”
Friends of the Montano family have setup a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral and medical expenses.