St. Petersburg police: 4 face felony charges after stolen car leaves women seriously injured

St. Petersburg police: 4 face felony charges after stolen car leaves women seriously injured
Woman critically injured in St. Pete crash
Police say the woman was the passenger of a blue PT cruiser that was driven by her mother, who sustained serious injuries. The stolen car was a Hyundai Sonata with four men inside, 20-year-old Carl McKinley, 19-year-old Lazarius Faulk, 19-year-old Clifford Washington and 18-year-old Jaquez Rouse. 

Earlier in the day an officer was flagged down and told there was a carload of men in Hyundai Sonata pointing a gun at someone. The car was later seen driving at a high speed down the road where the accident later happened. Police say the car was not pursued before the crash. 

In the past three years, 11 teenagers have died in crashes connected to auto theft. The epidemic is mostly mostly perpetuated by teenagers taking vehicles and speeding across cities. The Tampa Bay Times chronicled the crisis in a 2017 series called "Hot Wheels," which demonstrated how flaws in the juvenile justice system coupled with social pressures are fueling the crime wave. Kids crashed stolen cars an average of once every four days, the series showed.

Woman critically injured after stolen car crashes in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A woman was critically injured after a stolen vehicle crashed into another car in St. Petersburg Friday afternoon, police say. 

McKinley and Faulk, however, have been in trouble before and were charged with probation violation. McKinley was arrested in 2016 and later pleaded guilty to burglary and dealing in stolen property. Faulk pleaded guilty to felony burglary and grand theft of a motor vehicle in Sarasota County the same year.

At about 2:40 p.m., police say a stolen Hyundai Sonata hit a PT Cruiser at the intersection of 18th Ave S. and 25th Street S. 

Earlier that day, someone flagged down a St. Petersburg Police officer to report "a carload of men in a Hyundai pointing a gun at someone," the agency reported. An officer later saw that car speeding on 18th Avenue S but didnt chase the car.

Yolanda Speights and her mother, Mae were inside the PT Cruiser. Yolanda was taken to the hospital in critical condition, while Mae was hospitalized with serious injuries, according to police. 

Responders took Mae Speights, 61, and her 46-year-old daughter Yolanda Speights to the hospital with serious injuries. Yolanda Speights was in critical condition.

Carl McKinley, 20, Lazarius Faul, 19, Clifford Washington, 19, and Jaquez Rouse, 18, were arrested after the crash. Police did not say who was behind the wheel. 

ST. PETERSBURG – A county suffering from what officials call a car theft "epidemic" saw another stolen car crash endangering lives Saturday.

Two of the men tried to evade officers, but were quickly detained. Another one was able to run away, but was arrested a short time later, police said. Charges are pending.

Police then arrested the four men in the Hyundai, all of whom suffered minor injuries. They were booked Saturday night into Pinellas County Jail.

Posted in St. Petersburg