JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One teenager died and two others were hurt when a car slammed into a tree Monday afternoon on Oakleaf Village Parkway.
Witnesses told Jacksonville Sheriff's Office investigators that the boys, students at Oakleaf High School, were speeding and possibly racing two other vehicles when the car left the travel lanes and hit a tree in the median.
"I heard of my classmates talking about it. But, usually, they do it somewhere where there is nobody out. They do it on back roads or somewhere farther out from the city area. I've never heard anybody doing it around here," said a Oakleaf High senior who shares an English class with one of the teens who was injured.
Sky 4 video taken about 2:30 p.m. from over the scene -- about 2 miles from the high school -- and a photo from a viewer show that a tree appeared to come down on the car.
"It was, like, my God, nobody could live through that, for one," area resident Laurie Valenciano said. "To know that the kids are just racing out here -- it breaks your heart to know they give no respect for what could happen to them. It's sad."
Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said all three victims were taken to Orange Park Medical Center, where one died and the other two were in serious condition. Several students have identified the teen who died as Keondre.
"I didn't know Keondre, but it still hurts in my heart because I know that had a heavy impact on everyone involved," said another Oakleaf High student. "I want to send out prayers for both of them that are still in recovery and I hope Keondre has a safe rest."
News4Jax was told the Oakleaf High student body plans to wear red on Tuesday to honor Keondre. There will likely be grief counselors on hand for students if they need someone to talk to after the tragedy.
"I'm a very loving person, so I love everyone around me. And so, as soon as I found out it involved any of my classmates, I was devastated," said the Oakleaf High senior who spoke with News4Jax. "I prayed immediately once I found out who it was. I was just praying for the losses and the students who were hurt and their families."
Oakleaf Village Parkway at Merchants Way reopened about 5:45 p.m. Monday after the accident was investigated and cleared. Anyone who saw the crash or had any information about it is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org.