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Police say driver going over 70 mph in deadly residential crash

todayMay 28, 2024 4

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls police are releasing more information on a deadly crash in a quiet neighborhood that killed two teenagers and injured five others. As we told you on Friday, 17-year-old Damion Laurelez is charged with multiple counts of first- and second-degree manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and vehicular battery.

Just after 6 a.m. on Saturday, April 27th, neighbors in this central Sioux Falls neighborhood woke up to what some described as a movie scene: the sound of a crash, smoke, and teenagers screaming for help. According to court documents, the 17-year-old driver admitted he was behind the wheel, but Damion Laurelez said he was only going about 20 miles an hour when he hit a dip in the road, lost control, and crashed. However, the police department’s crash reconstruction team puts the speed much higher.

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“Initially witnesses had estimated speed at around 100 miles an hour, the investigators were able to roughly determine the minimum speed between 73 and 78 miles an hour,” said Sioux Falls Police Department Spokesman Sam Clemens.

Police used surveillance video from neighborhood cameras to calculate the speed. Police also say the Dodge Durango was so badly damaged it yielded very little information for investigators.

“That vehicle inspection is a key component, and they are able to rule out if there were issues with mechanical issues. You think about breaking or acceleration or something like that, but in this case, the damage was so extreme they were not able to do that,” said Clemens.

Court papers say Laurelez and seven others left a house party in the 1800 block of East 6th Street to get food and were on their way back to the party when he lost control of the SUV.

Police say Laurelez has alcohol and drugs in his system. Detectives arrested him last Thursday. His bond is set at $50,000. Because of the seriousness of the charges, he is charged as an adult, that’s why his name is being released.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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