PROSPECT HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) — The sole survivor of a crash that killed three teenagers in Prospect Heights is now under arrest.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Prospect Heights police have arrested the 17-year-old boy and charged him with criminal trespass to a motor vehicle.
The surviving teen has been identified in previous reports as Daniel Ascencio. In a report earlier this week, he credited his seat belt with saving his life when three other friends were killed.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports
Killed in the crash were Freddy Najera, 16, of Mount Prospect, and Elibeth Solis, 16, and Jessica Ferrera, 15.
Police say Ascencio told them the four teens drank beer and smoked marijuana before the accident, then looked for cars with open doors from which they could steal. One of the girls in the group found a car with its keys inside, and returned with it, the Chicago Tribune reported.
They had intended to drive to another suburb looking for other gang members, but with the car low on gas, they stayed in Prospect Heights, running red lights and speeding the car until the deadly crash, the Tribune reported. The car ended up hitting a tree and splitting in two.
In an earlier interview in the Daily Herald, Ascencio said he was not told the car the group was in was stolen until they were already speeding and it was too late to get out.