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Florida City Man Faces Charges In Deadly Palm Beach Crash

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A firefighter looks on as one of the cars involved in the crash is loaded onto a tow truck. (Source: CBS4 via WPTV)

A firefighter looks on as one of the cars involved in the crash is loaded onto a tow truck. (Source: CBS4 via WPTV)

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South Florida Crime

RIVIERA BEACH (CBSMiami) – Five people died in an early morning crash Saturday after Florida Highway Patrol troopers said a Florida City man ran a red light.

According to the accident report Jabari S. Kemp, 21, drove his 2008 Mercedes on the exit ramp from northbound I-95 at Blue Heron Boulevard in Riviera Beach, ran a red light and crashed into a 1994 Lexus carrying five people.

The fatal crash occurred about 12:25 a.m.

Vikkita Stratford who lives near the crash scene said she heard sirens and a helicopter, but didn’t realize what happened until hours later.

“I got a call this morning 6 a.m. saying it’s a terrible accident and five people were killed. It’s awful, just an awful tragedy,” she said.

The force of the crash was enough to send both cars into the opposite lane. Three occupants were ejected out of the Lexus, which overturned during the collision.

Riding in the Lexus were three girls and two men. The five, all from Riviera Beach, died as a result of the crash. Troopers said the girls, identified as Shonteria Grimsley, 17; Christina Oliver Joseph, 17; and Makita Campbell, 14 were riding in the back seat and not wearing seatbelts.

The driver of the Lexus, identified as 21-year-old Jason Mahlung, was airlifted to the hospital, where he died. The identity of the front passenger was not known because his relatives had not yet been notified.

According to the accident report, Kemp was transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center and is in serious but stable condition.

A third vehicle, a 2009 Toyota Camry, was struck by crash debris. However, the driver, 24-year-old Joavin Casimir, was not injured, the report said.

Casimir said he heard what sounded like an explosion before something flew through his back window. He showed CBS4′s Maggie Newland the oil covering the front of his car and the shattered glass.

Casimir said he called 911 and was running toward the accident scene when an officer told him to stay back, telling him there was nothing he could do.

The man said he knew a couple of the people who died. Stratford says the accident is painful for many who live in the area.

“Our prayers our hearts go out the families. The community is really saddened,” she said.

Charges are pending according to the accident report.

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