Father and daughter save three teens in fiery crash - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Father and daughter save three teens in fiery crash

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A story of tragedy and heroism. First, witnesses heard screams. Four teenagers were trapped in a burning minivan that had just slammed into a tree.

The commotion caught Jennifer Paige's attention.

"I was sitting at my kitchen counter and I heard this squealing and then the crash," she said.

But when she saw the mini van  she knew time was running out.

"I came out and I saw the car here and the passenger side was on fire," she said.

The Florida Highway Patrol said 16 year old Kevin Monaco lost control of the van as he drive around Forest Lake Drive.

The van slammed into a tree and a fire broke out.

"I just knew that fire was intense and it was going fast," she said.

She didn't know four teenage friends Kevin Monaco, 16-year-old Jamie Florio, 17-year-old Michael Morgan and 16-year-old Megan Kahn were inside, but heard their cries.

"They were begging to get them out just saying get the doors open its hot please get us out of here," she said.

She tried breaking the glass with any object she could find, but couldn't.

Her mom and dad ran down from their house with a crow bar and she began busting the van's windows.

"It was terrifying it was the scariest thing I think I've ever experienced," she said.

In a matter of minutes Jennifer pulled Jamie, Michael and Megan out of the burning van as the fire grew stronger.

"I just felt like it was right now or all these kids were going to die," she said.

Jennifer's dad Jim Dowd tried freeing driver Kevin Monaco.

"He was just trapped in there and we couldn't get the doors open we tried to use crow bars to pop the doors but we couldn't do it," he said.

Time ran out.

"The flames were leaping right out the window hitting him and pushing me back. He was screaming and then all of a sudden he just went limp," said Dowd.

Kevin died inside the van. Flowers now rest beneath the charred tree where it happened. One young life lost, but three others saved thanks to a family who came to the rescue.

Kevin was home schooled. The other three teens attend Ridgewood High School in New Port Richey.

Jamie Florio is listed in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital.

The Michael Morgan and Megan Kahn were transported to Bayonet Point hospital.

FHP continues investigating the crash.
 

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