ORLANDO, Fla.,None - Three innocent drivers are still hospitalized after deputies said two home invasion suspects, who thought they were being pursued by law enforcement, caused a four-car pile up near downtown Orlando.
Investigators said the suspects, 21-year-old Darrius Lowe and 20-year-old David Williams, hit speeds of more than 70
mph and were weaving in and out of traffic before the crash at the intersection of east colonial drive and Orange Avenue on Wednesday.
Deputies said the crash happened after the two men were involved in a home invasion off Alafaya Trail in East Orange County that same day.
A teenager was home alone when the men allegedly smashed through a back patio door. Deputies said she called 911 before she said Williams found her in a closet and the two fled. Deputies said she was able to give a description of the suspect's car.
Deputies said they spotted their car, but didn't chase the two men. Instead, deputies believe when the two crashed they were fleeing a news helicopter that they mistook for a pursuing police chopper.
"They fled of their own volition, at high rates of speed. Our feeling is that what they thought was a law enforcement aircraft," said Jeff Williamson, of the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
The men crashed into three other vehicles on Colonial Drive and Orange Avenue near the I-4 interchange, investigators said. Three of the four victims were taken to local hospitals and one refused treatment, officials said. The names of the crash victims have not been released.
Seconds after the crash two dogs fled from one vehicle, but were found uninjured within miles of the crash scene.
Both Lowe and Williams are being guarded by deputies at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Deputies said when the men are released they will go straight to jail, facing multiple charges.
One of the suspect's friends suggested a motive for the crime.
He told WFTV that Lowe's girlfriend is pregnant and he believed he wanted money.
"Well I know he just got out of jail and his girlfriend is pregnant. So I think he did it to get money I guess," Lowe's friend said.
Law enforcement is expected to release the 911 call the teenage girl made sometime Thursday.