FLORISSANT, Mo. — A 13-year-old driver who survived a fiery crash that killed three other children is facing involuntary manslaughter charges.

Police said the teen driver crashed into a tree in the 100 block of South New Florissant Road at about 2:00 a.m. Monday. The vehicle burst into flames after the collision. The three young passengers killed in the crash include a 9-year-old boy and two 13-year-old boys. The driver sustained injuries.

A preliminary investigation revealed speed was a factor in the crash, according to the Florissant Police Department. The driver is currently being held at the St. Louis County Family Court on three counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Meanwhile, the Florissant community remains heartbroken, trying to come to grips with the tragedy. Dontezz Maxwell, who witnessed the fiery crash, said he is still in shock.

“As I got closer, I seen there was a car, and it had hit the tree,” said Maxwell. “And they were like screaming. There were kids in the back. I was trying to see if there was anything I could do to help, and that’s when the police had come. They started trying to break the windows, getting the kid out.”
 
Maxwell also described the moment he saw someone jump out of the vehicle and scream for help.

“He ran out of the passenger side of the car, and he was just screaming. Like, his cousin and his brother were in the backseat,” said Maxwell. “My prayers go out to them kids and the family.”

Rob Hussey, a neighbor whose family owns the home where the tragedy unfolded outside, also offered his condolences to the victims’ loved ones.
   
“I can’t imagine the pain and the sadness that all those parents must be feeling at the moment,” said Hussey. “I have four kids, and I can’t even imagine. My heart definitely goes out to that family and prayers with the family as well. I pray that God be with them.” 

Police said this is an ongoing investigation and the cause of the crash remains under investigation. Police have not released the names of the victims.