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Laniya Miller, 15, Ashaunti Butler, 15, and Dominique Battle, 16, killed in car crash into pond near St. Petersburg, Florida

Modified Date: 
Sat, 12/16/2017 - 9:48am
Accident Date: 
Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sheriff: 3 Dead after Fleeing Car Plunges into Florida Pond

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says the driver apparently missed a sharp turn near a cemetery and went into the water near St. Petersburg early Thursday. Investigators have identified the girls as 15-year-old Laniya Miller, 15-year-old Ashaunti Butler and 16-year-old Dominique Battle. It wasn't immediately clear who was driving.

Evidence released in St. Petersburg pond crash that killed three teenagers

Dominique Battle, 16, Ashaunti Butler, 15, and Laniya Miller, 15, drowned. Now their families have hired a lawyer and are calling for a new investigation, saying deputies aren’t telling the whole story about the girls they think law enforcement unfairly painted as criminals.

Evidence released in St. Petersburg pond crash that killed three teenagers

Video shows the pond, like a marsh, too thick for deputies to save the girls. At a news conference following the early morning crash on  March 31, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said deputies took off their belts and tried to rush into the water to save the girls. The sheriff said they didn’t get far.
But dash cam video released Monday only shows deputies standing near the pond, watching the girl’s car sink and calling for back up.

WATCH: Dash cam video shows Florida cops stood by as teens drowned in stolen car

In the video, Pinellas County deputies can be heard standing by their cruiser, with one officer yelling, “I hear them yelling, I think!”

“They’re done. They are 6-7, dude” another officer replies.

“They were yelling,” a deputy responds. “I thought I heard yelling.”

As the car continued to sink the deputy replies, “But now, they’re done. They’re done.”

Type: Car Accident
People Involved: 
Laniya Miller
Ashaunti Butler
Dominique Battle

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