Florida cops believe that they have evidence that teenager Robert Kelley went on a reckless joyride that police say included running red lights and crashing into several cars before landing in a ditch. That evidence, police say, is a video of the wild ride that Kelley is believed to have posted online from his hospital bed while recovering from his crash injuries.
Sgt. Eugene Griffith told ABC News today that they expect to arrest Kelley, 18, by the end of the week after authenticating the video. He faces charges of driving without a driver’s license, reckless driving and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, Griffith said.
Police in New Smyrna Beach said Kelley went on a wild ride on Monday on the busy Volusia County Road in the beachside town.
“From our investigation, we learned that there were actually two crashes,” Griffith told ABC News. Griffith says the first crash was a hit and run. The second crash involved three vehicles and left the suspect’s vehicle in a ditch and totaled, the sergeant said.
“Firefighters had to extricate him from the vehicle,” Griffith said.
There were several other victims with non-life threatening injuries who were transferred via ambulance. Kelley was airlifted to Halifax Hospital Center in Daytona Beach and was treated and released.
Efforts to reach Kelley were unsuccessful.
According to ABC News affiliate WFTV in Orlando, Kelley took to social media from his hospital bed and posted online a video of the driving session, titling the four minute video, “Me driving like an idiot.”
Police received a tip about the video’s existence and are investigating if the teen himself recorded the fast and furious ride, police said. The police department is working with the state attorney’s office to authenticate the video.
The video has since been taken offline. It is unclear who removed it.
“If the video is an accurate account of that particular day of his driving, it’s just a total disregard for the safety and well-being of the citizens on the highways and side streets that day,” Sgt. Griffith said. “He’s running red lights, driving in a reckless manner. Rear ends one vehicle, continues driving and causes another serious crash just a half mile up the road.”
Eric Mercado and his two young daughters were victims of the hit-and-run crashes.
“He goes to the side of us, then he spins around, and then he lands,” victim Chloie Mercado told WFTV. “I am so grateful that I am safe.”
Mercado ran to the driver’s side.
“He kept asking me if this was real,” Mercado said.