Three Teens Killed, 4th Hurt In Crash Of Stolen Car

Updated 06/19/11 – 5:18 p.m.

PROSPECT HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) — Friends and family members on Sunday were mourning the deaths of three teenagers killed in a car crash in Prospect Heights early Saturday. Police said the youths were in a stolen car.

As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, friends of the victims said the tragedy will change the way they drive.

Beside the tree where an out of control car came crashing to a halt, the teenage friends of the three who died there left flowers and candles on Sunday as they wondered why the fatal wreck happened.

“They were all loved kids from all the kids around. We all loved them,” friend Stephanie Hanns said.

Friends identified one of the dead girls as 15-year-old Elibeth Solis and another as 15-year-old Jessica Ferrera. Authorities said that 16-year-old Freddy Najera of Mount Prospect also died.

Police reported the three teens were in a stolen 2002 Honda Accord at 3 a.m. Saturday when it came sailing across the road, landing just feet from a nearby home.

“I been thinking about it all night. I haven’t slept,” Hanns said.

Homeowners Belen and Scott Nielsen say the memorial in front of their house has been steadily growing.

“We have a 15-year-old. I can’t even imagine what those families are going through. I hope they let God’s grace let them heal,” Belen Nielsen said.

The scene outside her home on Sunday included classmates from Prospect High School who barely knew the teens, but were searching for meaning in their death.

“I know on Facebook people are saying we should all start driving more careful,” classmate Silvia Mozdzen said.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

The wreck happened in the 100 block of Camp McDonald Road in an residential neighborhood about 75 yards from the Prospect Heights police station, which is not staffed overnight.

“It was right next door to us,” Prospect Heights police Cmdr. Eric Lundt said.

When calls came in from neighbors in the area, police rushed to the scene and found a gruesome sight.

A young woman driving the car had been decapitated and the three others were ejected from the 2002 Honda Accord, the commander said. The car involved had been stolen, Lundt said.

About 7 or 8 a.m. the man who owns the car “woke up” and called police to say his car had been stolen from Mount Prospect, Lundt said.

Police do not know who stole the car, and no one has been arrested for the theft.

Investigators have also determined the car was traveling at a high speed when the young woman driving it lost control, the commander said.

The car was initially on Elmhurst Road and turned onto eastbound Camp McDonald when it crashed for an unknown reason. Lundt said police were canvassing the area to find anyone who may have heard or seen the crash.

It was not known if they were wearing seat belts or just how fast the car was traveling on the 35-mph-speed-limit roadway, which was dry and not under construction at the time.

The commander said it was not known where the teens were going or what their relationship was, besides being acquaintances. Lundt said Prospect Heights police has never had any contact with the four teens.

Toxicology tests will be performed at the medical examiner’s office and should determine if drugs or alcohol were involved.

The wreck is being investigated by the Mount Prospect Accident Reconstruction unit and Prospect Heights police.

The only passenger to survive, friends said, was 18-year-old Danny Ascencio, and they’ve visited him in the hospital where he was recovering on Sunday. He had been released from the hospital by Monday morning.

“He was in the passenger seat but he was the only one with a seatbelt on,” friend Aimee Moyo said. “He’s really thankful. He’s glad he got a second chance.”

That seatbelt is what most likely saved his life. Prospect Heights police reported that his three friends died at the scene, two of them were thrown from the car.

It’s a second chance, but one that comes with many questions from authorities, including how the teens ended up in a stolen car.

Neighbors of the dead, who all have ties to the Boxwood subdivision in Prospect Heights, have been selling candy and taking collections to help pay for the funerals of the three teens.

(The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)

  • gary s.

    if god was there for the survivor, why was god not there for the others? why did god not like them as much as the survivor? if god did like the survivor so much, why did god have the survivor go thru the horror of the accident?

    • Roberta Waker

      It’s amazing that people only know GOD when tragedy strikes. We are removing God from our money, our schools, courts, and so forth, NOW you want to know where God was? Where would YOU be if no one wanted YOU? Hopefully lessons will be learned here and the survivor just might be able to save the lives of other teens that think they are indestructible.

      • LessonLearnedTheHardWay

        Unfortunately the Us government is not removing IG’WT from our currency The reason it there is because they can’t with honestly put “In our government / Politicians We Trust.” because that will NEVER happen.

        The kids stealing the vehicle had nothing to do with any supernatural being or its dogma. It was about undisciplined kids being allowed to run the streets at night with no regard for others… They could have just as easily ran into another car filled with a family, and killed them, an ambulance on a run with a patient inside.. the list is endless. Fortunately they only killed themselves..

        It could have been a lot worst…We will never know how many NEAR Misses they had before the crash.

      • Thunderball

        My Dad had to daily face the wall at two or three inches distance when He and two other members of the Hebrew religion refused to say the Lord’s Prayer each school morning. This was in the 1950s. Is that what you want to return to? Ostracize those not religious or Christian?

    • Danny

      They do need some answers,and hopefully the kid will give them answers.
      He also probably has a guardian angel (rather than saying GOD himself stepped in,it was probably his angel) which would explain why he was the sole survivor. Over all though it’s really a shame that they decided to go joy riding,in the end,3 of them paid for it with their lives while one lives to tell the horrific tale about it.

      • LessonLearnedTheHardWay

        the difference between the one survive and the ones who did not.. Age 18 vs 15 & 16… he had enough sence to put on a seat belt. possible age driven thought process too.

        He should not have been the car.. well none should have been the car… they were all in the process of committing a crime.. stolen vehicle.. and the drive speeding.
        Do not feel sorry for any of them.. Do feel sorry for the guy who’s car was stolen and the home owner. they now will have to deal with the results of the crime. Parents need to pay for the car, the damage to the tree / yard etc.

        There is a possible history of this kind of complete disregard for the law and personal property of others etc, by these teens… They just finally got caught.
        I hope the put the remains of the vehicle on the front lawn of their school campus and photos of the remains of the kids in the halls of the school as a daily reminder of what a joy ride can look like. Few few minutes of fun will now be paid for an eternity if pain for the families, friends and the crime victims.. the guy who had his car stolen and the home owner. The kids were not victims.. but criminals in act of committing a crime.
        The parents will wonder the rest of their lives as to why they allowed their kids to be out committing crimes at 3am?

      • phranque

        I agree

    • Brooke

      God gave us free will. These kids made a choice. Unfortunatly it was the wrong one . Thank God for the survivor so that we may get some answers. We must not blame God for our choices.

    • Catbert


      • Jessie

        I agree, this story is hilarious! Stupid kids. I’m just glad the homeowners weren’t hurt!

    • sherrie

      Gary..God did not do this..people were given free will..those kids choose to get behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle and whatever happened only the survivor knows..he will have to live with this horror for the rest of his life. I do hope the total truth comes out..and that this is a lesson learned..God is not at fault for this..but God did give this child a second chance..and he should take it..

    • JO


  • sully101

    Puh-leeze. The friends of the victims are going to change the way they drive? So we can expect that they won’t be stealing cars at 3 AM and going 80 mph in a residential area? Good decision.

    • LessonLearnedTheHardWay

      i agree, the response from the “friends” is rather ridiculous..

      • BIll

        Why is it always the biggest moron on the planet who continually replies to everyone’s post? Go back to your youtube/cheetos combo you idiot and shut the eff up…

  • cubster

    Why so much grieving of these ‘loved’ kids…..they were in a syolen car!!! 15, 16, 17 & 18 year-old kids shouldn’t be out at 3A.M…..This accident is their parents fault, for not knowing where there kids are at.

  • Roberta Waker

    What were they doing out at 3 A.M. and where were the parents? Autopsies should show if drugs or alcohol were involved, which would explain their poor judgment in stealing a car and speeding at 80+ in a 35 mph zone. It’s a shame three teenagers lost their lives; but thankfully no one else was injured or killed. Maybe God left one alive to teach the many lessons to be learned here.

  • Welcome To Bernies Holiday Camp

    God takes his cut on Sunday. A little song, a little dance, take some change out of your pants. Jesus dont surf!!!!!!.


    regardless of whether or not they were 15, 16, and 17 year old kids doenst mean that kids dont make mistakes…. and certainely doesnt mean that their deaths were appropriate because they made the wrong decision at the wrong time… people learn from mistakes… theyre not supposed to die from them.. and for all the people who are writing hateful comments… a car is not as valuable as the lives of three young teenagers…. some things you cant put a price on and clearly the people posting hate comments dont have kids, or shouldnt because they wouldnt be able to face the reality that not everyone is perfect.

    • junior

      People that can’t raise responsible children shouldn’t be having them either. They were in a stolen car at 3 AM, where were their parents???? And while a car is not as valuable as a human, what if it were your car? Suppose your child was having an emergency and you had to go and whoops, no car? But it’s okay, because everyone makes mistakes.

      • thunderball

        “Where were their parents..?” the parents were at home, in bed, asleep.

    • LessonLearnedTheHardWay

      They did not make a mistake.. they were committing a crime. in the middle of the night so they would no be seen. They knew exactly what they were doing… Committing a crime is a mistake it is a deliberate action for a selfish reason/s.

      If they hit the gas instead of the break assuming they were hitting break that is a mistake. getting in a car you know is not yours and racing through a neighborhood at 3m was not a mistake. It was a deliberate action…A CRIME>

    • CallingBS

      Culling of the herd, do stupid, die stupid. They had no right to steal that car, they had no right to drive that car, they had a right to make good decisions, but chose not to, they have no right to sympathy, they were 100% wrong. The price they paid was the outcome of their irresponsibility…this is not a statement of hate…just the facts.

  • jorie

    ON A SIDE NOTE… all of the poeple commenting on this article need to find a hobby, job, boyfriend/girlfriend… something to keep them occupied because the comments being made are a waste of space on the internet and shouldnt be shoved in the faces of the people directly involved in these articles… read a book and learn something about humanitarianism….

    • Donna Sayles-Corbin

      See Jorie, you are part of the problem. If the family doesn’t want to see the comments; DON’T READ THEM!!! So we are supposed to feel sorry for these kids because they were kids? NO! They were car thieves. People keep asking “Where were the parents”. Probably where these kids should have been. At their ages, they know how to sneak out of the house. The parents shouldn’t have to stay up all night or post a guard to keep their kids in the house at night. These kids know better. I’m sure they knew better than to steal that car too; but it didn’t prevent them from doing it. Yeah, it was a lapse in thinking but when you do stupid sh!t; stupid sh!t tends to happen…even to kids. I don’t feel sorry for tham as they brought it on themselves.

    • LessonLearnedTheHardWay

      that includes you too jorie… living in a glass house there are ya?

    • Jessie

      Humanitarianism is for weaklings. This is a case of evolution, plain and simple. These kids were idiots. Now, thankfully, their genes aren’t in our gene pool!

  • Mike

    That’s what happens to thief’s…

  • R A

    Were they not in a stolen car??

  • R A

    Now the parents will try and sue the owner of the car or the car maker for their kids mistake of stealing.

    • thunderball

      $50 to you via PayPal the day the parents file suit against the car maker. In the email subject line, put ‘blow-hard wants his $$’ so I know its you.

  • Lestat DeLioncourt

    These teens died while committing a crime. I have no sympathy for them. Further more Danny Ascencio should be charged with murder. If someone dies in the commission of a felony, even one of the criminals, all of the surviving perps can be charged with murder. In this case the felony was grand theft auto. Thank god no innocents died.

    • CallingBS

      You have a good point Lestat, since this happened in the commission of a crime he could face charges. Also, with him being the oldest in the car he could be held responsible for the theft as well. This yong man is in a world of hurt, but of coruse, he won’t be held responsible for his actions, or lack ther of.

  • Jazerelle

    It is sad that they died but lets not minimize the fact they were joy riding at high speeds in a stolen car. The obviously were not saints and only have themselves to blame for their deaths and the pain they are now causing their parents. It is fortunate that they did not kill any innocent people during their little joy ride.

  • mk

    One kid survived because he was wearing his seat belt. It’s not a guardian angel, it’s science.

  • Patty Reynolds-Andersen

    Shame on all who are making these horrible comments! These were kids – they were doing what many of us did in our youth….you folks never made a mistake or found a way to sneak away from your parents.. Please! I’d say your lying if you claim you didn’t…or you were so stuck and prim and proper then – how dare you think you have the right judge these young people and hurt their families – again, shame on you.

    To the family and friends of these young people and all of the others associated with this tragedy…thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    • Lestat DeLioncourt

      Sorry, Patty. I wasn’t stealing cars when I was a kid. I guess that makes me “prim and proper”

      Just because they were young does not excuse their behavior.

    • LessonLearnedTheHardWay

      So Patty.. you did these things as a kid? amazing your are still alive.. do you still do this now.? And do you allow your kids to steal cars in the middle of the nite and joy ride.. with the possibility of killing others and themselves?
      And you are ok with this? Perhaps if these joy riders had hit your car with your kids in it you would just say.. kids will be kids… I doubt it!! You would be out for blood from the kids and their parents.

    • concerned mom of two

      When I was this age I never once snuck out of my parents home, I never once stole a car, I was home at curfew, I did not drink and drive, I didn’t do any drugs, never got arrested, etc- WHY-because I would have gotten my a** whipped by my parents. We knew better. We had fear of the repercussions from our parents. Kids today have no fear of repercussion. I have 2 teenagers so my heart goes out to all these families. It is sad for these young lives to be lost so soon due to a lapse in their judgement. They will be in my prayers.

    • primnproper

      Excuse me there Ms. Patty Reynolds-Andersen but in my youth I DID NOT GET MY FRIENDS KILLED BY JOYRIDING IN A STOLEN CAR!!! Obviously you have a criminal record and I’d be willing to bet it started in JUVI!!! You’ve certainly shown YOUR colors to think its OK to take what SOMEONE ELSE worked for and destroy it along with three lives. If staying out of trouble with the law is a bad thing in your book then yeah, I’m one of those prim and proper types. I’ve also been the victim of theft by people like you who don’t want to work for anything and just steal from others. Yes I do have the right to judge! I take great pleasure every time I see a story end this way. No INNOCENT lives were lost THIS TIME!!! And if you try to say the 3 lives lost were innocent then you’ll only prove you and everybody who thinks like you are one of the major problems with todays society.

    • phranque

      Not sure about you, but as a teenager, I didn’t sneak out at 3:00 AM, get drunk, steal a car, and kill people — Get real !

    • phranque

      In addition, maybe if teens did act with some respect, or Prim and Proper, we wouldn’t be here discussing this event !!

    • CallingBS

      This skewed way of looking at this tragedy you have, is part of the problem. THEY WERE WRONG 100% The parents need to take a look at themselves as well, the teens, friends and survivor need to re-evaluate what “FUN” is and act responsibly. If the lines of communication were open there wouldn’t be a need to “sneak out:” There is a lot wrong is this picture…and trying to shift the blame to those making comment is a big part of it. These kids died because they didn’t know how to act responsibly…PERIOD!

  • AmandaJeanne

    I am so sad that most of the comments are about God not being there and people not feeling bad for these kids. How would you like to pay for a mistake with your life. Kids are kids, They were stupid, and should have gone to jail, but the death penalty was not permitted. I am so sorry for everyone that this affected. I am sorry that these parents will miss their kids growing up, seeing them graduate, and meeting their grandchildren.

    • Lestat DeLioncourt

      I’m glad that these criminals will not be stealing any more cars.

  • Brook

    these were my friends and may you rest in peace yes you are stupid for what you did, but now you cant live to see another day, yes you would be in jail but its better then being dead, although you can look down on all of us we miss you and to Danny i pray for you, because your the one who has to go on with life everyday and remember that day, to all the people who are being rude, i hope this happens to you so you know how it is to have a teenage kid that you love never say i love you or hello, they might have been mexican and your probaly thinking they were in gangs but they are kids, and if you have them and they are wonderful great but these kids were loved just like anyone else. so i love you guys and rest in peace, and one day we will meet again.

    • Lestat DeLioncourt

      Learn a lesson from your dead friends, Brook. Don’t steal any cars.

      • Lestat DeLioncourt

        Shame on me?

        Shame on Elibeth Solis, Jessica Ferrera, Freddy Najera and Danny Ascencio.

        The lesson must not be that obvious if three teens gave their life so that others may learn it. What benefit of the doubt are we giving them? That they didn’t steal a car and crash it? Because the empirical data would suggest that is exactly what happened.

        The lesson is: don’t be a F-up and you might live longer.

      • Kara

        Shame on you, Lestat. How dare you heckle their loved one. I, for one, would rather be known as a car thief any day than a plain old arse. It is obvious to not steal cars and I’m sure this has proved a lesson. What is needed now is some simple kindess. You are speaking of children. Do you not remember what it is like to be fifteen? I certainly make different decisions now than I did then. With age comes wisdom and no person is all good or all bad. As these kids are not here to speak for themselves, give them one last benefit of the doubt.

        Brook, I hope your friends rest peacefully and may Danny find strength to rise above this and move forward.

      • primnproper

        I’d rather be known as a plain old arse than thieving spoiled brat who thinks it’s OK to steal what SOMEONE ELSE is paying for. I’d rather be known as a plain old arse than a rotten little juvi offender who got their friends killed JOY RIDING IN A STOLEN CAR!!!!

  • Steve

    Dumb kids do dumb things

    • Rudy


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  • Charles Darwin

    We have a local Darwin Award winner. Thanks for strengthening the gene pool.

  • Brook

    everyone is a person with feelings okay so how dare you come on here and act like you can talk like this, dumb kids your right key word KIDS ! my friend were amzing people but you wouldnt know that cuz you have your head to high up your ass because your kids or people in your generation are proper, well hunny not everyone lifes by rule even though they are suppose to, My friends had a big heart and the best spirit ever so again how dare you come on here and think that these kids are good where they are at because they are not. im not like my friends i have a head on my sholders becuase i have problems in my life to make me grow up fast but them they had problems and it wasent this, i dont know why they would do this, but they did and now i can never see them again so how dare everyone who is thinking that this is right cuz if you got the call that your kid died and made a stupid mistake, well guys theres nothing you can do about it but wait untill that day you see your kid again.

  • Unsympathetic

    I will show this to my future children and tell them that if they ever do anything as stupid and irresponsible as this, they deserve the consequences. I dont feel a single ounce of sympathy for the dead, or their families who raised them to make such poor decisions. Justice was served.

    • anon

      I find it appaulling that people have nothing better to do with their lives then comment on all of this. I’ve seen these forums time and time again and just ignore the. I understand I am taking the time now to do this, but it is only to tell you all to get off your computers, hug your children/loved ones and live your lives doing the best you know how. Instead of sitting behind your keyboards telling other people what their parents should or shouldn’t have done and judging these teens. Let the families and friends grieve and just take care of yourselves and your families. I hope whatever God or faith any of you have blesses you and grants you the sense to do so.

  • Brook\

    your so heartless i hope your kid does see this and realize how bad of a parent they have. good luck to you, really cuz one day you never know what your kid will get into okay and with the new generations these days this world is gonna be a bad place for everyone. so you know what again i hope your kids do see this and them see how bad of a person you are.

    • Lestat DeLioncourt

      “with the new generations these days this world is gonna be a bad place for everyone.” – Brook

      Thank you, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Your friends are the reason that this is “gonna be a bad place for everyone.”

      “well hunny not everyone lifes by rule even though they are suppose to”

      And that is why they are dead. You don’t seem to be getting it. You admit that they were doing something they shouldn’t have but you keep trying to justify it. They were in the wrong. Now they are dead. The world is a better place with 3 less criminals.

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