Teen driver who jumped tracks is dead
Police say the car soared 50 feet before it crashed. "This is what happens with the inexperience of youth," a Clearwater police spokesman said.
By JACOB H. FRIES
Published March 17, 2005
CLEARWATER - While investigators released new details about the crash, the 16-year-old Clearwater boy who flew over railroad tracks in a speeding car has died from his injuries, authorities said.
Along with three friends and his younger brother, Jonathan Weidemeyer was driving a Ford Thunderbird south on Betty Lane on Sunday morning when he hit the accelerator with the intent of jumping a railroad crossing, authorities said.
Investigators have now determined that the car reached 60 to 63 mph when it hit the hump of the crossing and leaped into the air.
The car soared 50 feet and two inches before it came crashing down, said Sgt. Robert Wierzba, a crash investigator. Witnesses earlier estimated that the car traveled as far as 75 feet.
The impact threw two of the teenage passengers out the windows. It also split the car's oil pan and disabled its steering mechanism, making it impossible for Weidemeyer to regain control of the car, Wierzba said. "He couldn't do anything," he said.
The car slid and spun clockwise and slammed into a curb, causing the vehicle to roll on its driver's side, Wierzba said. Then it crashed into a palm tree and came to rest upside down.
Weidemeyer succumbed to his injuries about 4 p.m. Tuesday at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, officials said. His brother, Carlton, 13, had been flown to Bayfront as well, but has since been transferred to All Children's Hospital, where he was recovering Wednesday.
Phone messages left for Weidemeyer's parents were not returned. They were said to be attending to their younger son.
"This is what happens with the inexperience of youth," Clearwater police spokesman Wayne Shelor said. "One moment's fun changes lives and families forever."
No criminal charges were expected. Weidemeyer, who got his license in December 2003, had no marks on his driving record.
"They had no way to know that the car was not capable of surviving that vault," Shelor added.
The other passengers sustained nonlife-threatening injuries, he said.
One of them, according to witnesses, crawled from the crumpled car, staggered to his feet and repeated, "I told you so . . . . I told you so."
It was not the first crash at the railroad crossing on Betty Lane. In 2003, a 25-year-old man sped to 80 mph and launched his BMW. Ryan T. McCullom, who was not wearing a seat belt, died at the scene.
In 1988, a Clearwater police car hit the tracks and collided head-on with a Volkswagen. Both vehicles flipped, but no one was killed.
Weidemeyer's was the sixth traffic fatality in Clearwater this year.
[Last modified March 17, 2005, 01:33:29]
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Thread: Clearwater Accident Kills Teen
03-17-2005, 07:58 AM #1
Clearwater Accident Kills Teen09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
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The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.
03-17-2005, 06:01 PM #2
Sounds like he tried to recreate the Dukes of Hazard jumps.....The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
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