NewsSarasota, Manatee County


3 teens killed in crash on John Ringling Causeway Bridge in Sarasota

Posted at 9:22 AM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 07:56:09-04

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Three teenagers are dead after a crash on the John Ringling Causeway Bridge in Sarasota.

It happened just after midnight Wednesday in the area of Bird Key.

A single vehicle with three people inside, brothers 19-year-old Oscar Flores and 17-year-old Daniel Flores and 15-year-old Isabella Paoletta, was traveling westbound over the bridge. All three teens died as a result of the crash.

The eastbound and westbound lanes of the John Ringling Causeway Bridge were closed from Sunset Drive to Bird Key Park for several hours.

It is not known who was driving, but for unknown reasons, the driver lost control, struck the side wall of the bridge, along with a tree before the vehicle caught fire.

"Always with a big, beautiful, bright smile and she waived goodbye to me," said family friend Alia Moncayo, who saw Paoletta hours before the deadly crash. "She was one of a kind."

Tuesday night, hundreds gathered along the causeway to honor the three teenagers. Many laid flowers, teddy bears, and candles down at the exact location where the car came to rest.

“It's a tragedy, it’s sad," said Sebastian Ramirez. "It’s like crazy that this happens in the blink of an eye. It was so unexpected.”

It is unknown if speed, alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.