Florida teens charged with death of friend, 16, in DUI car crash during drag race

The teens were racing cars on Adamo Drive near 50th Street with a speed nearly 120 miles an hour

Florida teens charged with death of friend, 16, in DUI car crash during drag race
Payton Fordyce (L) got killed in drag race that involved Austin Lewis (Bottom R) and Kristopher Trenker (Top R) (Tampa Police Department)
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TAMPA, FLORIDA: Police arrested and charged two teenagers, Austin Lewis, 17, and Kristopher Trenker, 19, in the drag-racing death of a 16-year-old boy, Payton Fordyce, riding in one of the cars. Police said that the teens were racing cars on Adamo Drive near 50th Street on July 24, with a speed of nearly 120 miles an hour, as per reports. 

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According to NY Post, Lewis was drunk and driving with a 0.08 blood-alcohol level. Fordyce was in the back seat when Lewis swerved to avoid hitting a passing vehicle. His car hit a cement culvert and rolled several times, according to police. They crashed, killing 16-year-old Payton. Lt Lisa Parashis of the Tampa Police Department told Fox 13, "They hit a cement culvert. The vehicle overturned multiple times, and at this point the 16-year-old that was a passenger in the rear seat was partially ejected from the vehicle." This led to Fordyce's death at the scene from his injuries.

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As per NY Post, Tampa police arrested both Lewis and Trenker on August 10 after an investigation. While Lewis has been charged with manslaughter while driving under the influence and vehicular homicide as in Florida, impairment is 0.08 or higher, on the other, Trenker has been charged with vehicular homicide, operation of an unregistered vehicle and driving with a suspended or revoked license. The police officially released a statement of the arrest as well which said, "The two defendants, 17-year-old Austin Lewis, white male, (10/26/2004) and 19-year-old Kristopher Trenker, black male, (7/18/2003), were traveling eastbound on Adamo Drive. Lewis, driving a 2021 red Kia Sorento SX and Trenker, driving 2004 gray Infiniti G35, engaged in an illegal street race near 50th Street with vehicle speeds approaching 120 miles per hour."

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'He was the man of our family', mother mourns

Devasted by Fordyce's death, who was a student at Spoto High School and played in youth baseball and football league organizations, Brittany Bunnell, Fordyce’s mother, said, "It’s been a lot. It’s been definitely life changing. It’s been really hard I’ve definitely lost a piece of myself. He was my only son. And it’s been a lot to adjust to for sure. It’s a very senseless act and that these kids should understand the severity of racing and speeding and not wearing a seat belt. Even my son, he did not have a seat belt on, and I don’t understand why not." She further added, "I would just want everyone and these kids to know that it’s not okay. When you’re driving with somebody else’s life in your hands that should be taken serious, and this was just so senseless. He was the man of our family. We don’t have anyone else now. He was the only one. So it’s just kind of devastating that he was the only boy we had, and he was taken from us."

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