ORLANDO, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal one-car crash near the House of Hope in Orlando on Saturday morning as a homicide.
Late Saturday, officials with the sheriff's office identified the victim as 24-year-old Jeremiah St. Roman.
State troopers said a passenger was in the car, but ran from the vehicle after the crash.
According to reports, the driver was speeding down west 37th Street near Tampa Avenue in a residential area when he failed to notice that the road was ending.
The driver struck a chain link fence, and the chain link fencing that surrounded the rear side of the basketball court at House of Hope.
“I was sleeping in my bed early this morning and I heard a loud crash,” resident Alvin Bell said.
The front of the car hit one of the heavy gauge poles holding up the basketball court fencing that was supported with a cement base.
“Someone actually hit the fence there and went through the basketball court, hit the pole and the car flipped over,” Bell said. “I have been here for 20 years and never have I ever seen anything like this.”
The car turned onto its left side and troopers said witnesses saw the front passenger run from the scene.
The driver, who has not been identified, died at the scene.
The Medical Examiner's Office discovered the victim suffered injuries not consistent with a traffic crash, making it a homicide investigation.
At approximately 0330 hours, the Florida Highway Patrol responded to the dead end of 37th Street in reference to a possible single vehicle traffic homicide investigation. A black male was discovered deceased in the driver’s seat and witnesses said a second black male fled from the vehicle.