LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Two Louisville teens died in a fiery crash early Sunday morning when their car hit a tree. Family members of the teens said they have more questions than answers in the deadly accident.
Police said the crash happened around 3:30 a.m. July 16, near the intersection of Herr Lane and Westport Road. The family believes there had to be a chase of some kind for the teens to crash like they did.
Louisville Metro Police Department officials said officers spotted their car driving erratically and speeding southbound on Herr Lane near Ballard High School. Police said they turned on emergency equipment, but the car was so far in front of them it didn't turn into a chase. The car hit a tree right outside of Westport Village and caught fire.
LMPD Sergeant Phil Russell said, "They were so far off, the accident occurred well in advance of them getting close enough to engage the vehicle."
Family and friends of Alexus “Lexi” Raeshell Gray, 16, and her boyfriend Isaiah Basham are now left wondering how the crash happened. Well, these two morons were drunk and speeding- this is how it happened.
Basham's uncle, Chad Harlamert, said, "When they got here (pointing at the tree) the car was engulfed in flames, well my niece, his (Basham's) sister was behind them following behind them doing 80 miles an hour trying to keep up with them and couldn't."
Harlamert continued, "I just want to know what happened, that's all I want to know. I just want to know the truth."
Meanwhile, loved ones filled the crash site with flowers and pictures of the two former Ballard High students.
Lexi was remembered for her bright smile and personality to match.
Her friend Billy Houston dropped off flowers.
"She was a very loving person and she was always there for Isaiah no matter really what was going on," he said.
Basham had a budding music career.
"We could have done so much more," video producer Frankie Carter said.
Carter said he and Basham never finished their music plan but said the rapper, known as “Zayski” Basham, had a big following on Instagram.
"He was just really cool, you know motive, he was just happy, just happy, you know what I mean," Carter said.The LMPD Traffic Unit is investigating and Public Integrity is shadowing the case. Basham's uncle said the family may contact an attorney to get more information.
This was another drunk (DUI) related crash. Most such crashes occur in the early a.m. hours like this one.
A Louisville woman said she tried to pull her brother from a crash before his car exploded into flames, killing two teens on Herr Lane near Westport Village over the weekend.
Glennisha Swift said she was in a car right behind them.
"As soon as he passed the light by my mom's house, the two police immediately got behind him, turned on their lights and were chasing him," Swift said.
Glennisha's mother, Amie Thompson, lost her son, 19-year-old Isaiah Basham. She joined other family members at a makeshift memorial at the crash site Monday.
"I just never thought I'd be going past one of those landmarks and see my son at the landmark," Thompson said through tears.
Pictures, cards and candles now sit under the blackened tree with charred leaves.
"That's my baby. We were inseparable," Thompson said. "That was my man. He didn't deserve that."
The coroner has not released the identity of the passenger, a teenage girl. Thompson said it was Basham's girlfriend.
Around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, LMPD officers said they first spotted a vehicle driving erratically near Ballard High School about a mile-and-a-half from the crash site.
Officers said they were a long distance away when the teens' vehicle lost control, flipped over, hit a tree and caught fire. They said they were not pursuing the vehicle when it lost control. Swift said she tried to rescue the teens from the car. Police said they attempted to help but couldn't because of the flames.
"I tried to pull his feet out of the car. He was screaming my name, she was screaming and the car just kept blowing up," Swift said.
"Burning alive ... you just can't cope with that," Thompson said. "I'm still not gonna cope with that. Ever."
The crash is still under investigation.
This was another drunk (DUI) related crash. Most such crashes occur in the early a.m. hours like this one. Two more black lives wasted.