(WARREN, Ohio) — The teenage girl who was driving an allegedly stolen SUV before it crashed into a guardrail and flipped upside-down into a pond, killing herself and five friends, did not have a valid driver’s license, the Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles said Tuesday.
The owner filed a stolen-car report with police Monday, claiming that none of the teens in the SUV was related to him or asked to use the vehicle.
It was unclear how the teens got the car.
Brian Henry, 18, and Asher Lewis, 15, were the only survivors of the Warren, Ohio crash, that killed six of their friends, ranging in age from 14 to 19.
Henry described the crash and how he survived it to ABC News affiliate WYTV.
He said he smacked his head on the dashboard and lost consciousness during the crash, and that it was the cold water that stirred him to consciousness.
“First thing I thought was that I just wanted to give up,” Henry said. “I was like, I can’t go out like that.”
He tried to smash his way out of the car.
“It took me six or seven times to bust the window,” he said.
But when he tried to swim out, he found himself entangled with seat belts. He had to take off his shoes and pants in order to escape, Henry said.
The eight teens had packed into the Honda Passport, which seats five people, and some were likely not wearing seat belts, authorities said.
Investigators are trying to piece together what the teens were doing on the road Sunday morning.
Henry told WYTV he was offered a ride home from a friend’s house and did not know where the other seven were coming from. He said he had warned the driver, Alexis Cayson, 19, to slow down and said that they were almost home when the car veered off the road.
“Before I turned around and looked at her, the car had jerked out of control. I don’t know if she did it on purpose or how fast she was going,” he said.
The other victims were identified as Andrique Bennett, 14, Brandon Murray, 17, and Kirklan Behner, Daylan Ray and Ramone White, all 15 years old.
Henry said the trauma of the accident is going to stay with him for the rest of his life.
“All of them were my boys that I was with,” he said. “They were younger, but they all looked up to me. We all looked out for everybody.”
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