ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A 16-year-old driving a car stolen from a U-Haul center crashed into an Orange County apartment building late Tuesday night after a trooper tried to pull him over, Florida Highway Patrol said.
FHP said Akeem Shabazz admitted to taking the car from a U-Haul center on Colonial Drive when the owner left it running and unlocked, but charges on the admission are still pending from the Orange County Sheriff's Office, officials said.
"The trooper activated its lights to pull them over. The driver acted like it was going to pull over, (but) as the trooper pulled off to the side of the road, the car took off again," said Sgt. Kim Montes of the FHP.
FHP said Shabazz lost control on a hard curve, hit a power pole and a water main, then crashed into the Dunwoodie Place Apartments off Texas Avenue.
"Then I saw the power lines come down and they went, 'Boom, boom, boom,' and I ran for my life because I didn't know what was going on," said witness Brandon Clark.
Alexandra Arocho-Glover said she also saw a flash of bright light.
"All I see is a big explosion. I was getting ready to go to bed and I turned the TV off, and I saw this big, green explosion," Arocho-Glover said. "I thought the world was coming to an end. I thought it was 2012, and the world was coming to an end."
A passenger in the car
ran away as the trooper ran to help a woman trapped inside her bedroom.
"He actually went in through her bedroom door trying to get her help to get out. Obviously, a very traumatic situation for her to have a car come into her bedroom," said Montes.
Coronralla Arnold was pulled from the building and then taken to Florida Hospital.
Shabazz was injured in the crash and taken into custody as he tried to
run, officials said. He was taken to Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
FHP said Shabazz faces charges of driving without a license, fleeing and eluding an officer, leaving the scene of a crash, running a stop sign and not wearing a
The two apartment units that were damaged in the crash were deemed unlivable, and residents still haven't been allowed to return.