Two Girls Die When Boys Crash Stolen Car
May 29, 2009 – Madison, WI
Two 14 year-old girls lost their lives when the stolen Toyota Corolla they were in was struck by an SUV. Dionna Cook died at the scene; Chonnell Drinker died July 12 at UW Hospital of injuries sustained in the crash. The keys to the car had been stolen by a 15 year-old boy, who was driving the stolen car, a couple days earlier from an acquaintance.

After stealing the car, the 15 year-old and another 14 year-old boy took the car to the Salvation Army Community Center parking lot on Darbo Drive where they picked up four girls who got into the back seat. Everyone in the car was under 16 years-old. They then drove down Rosemary Avenue heading toward Milwaukee Street. A police officer heading in the opposite direction on his way to another call saw the car and yelled out a verbal warning to the driver to slow down as the vehicle drove quickly between several parked cars. The officer didn't know the driver was 15 or that the car was stolen and proceeded to the other call.

The two boys in the front seat panicked after seeing the police car and fought over the steering wheel. The car accelerated on Milwaukee Street, side-swiped a parked car then swerved into the path the SUV. They were struck in the rear driver's side door. They ran off with the least injured girl and later one of them called his mother who put a police officer on the phone with her son. A witness to the crash took an officer to a home on Rethke Avenue, where the other boy was found.

The boys were arrested two days later. The 15 year-old driver was sentenced to one-year of state Department of Corrections commitment, but still faces a homicide charge for Drinker’s death.

The 14 year-old boy was found delinquent of two counts of homicide by negligent driving, two counts of second-degree reckless endangerment and one count of hit and run. He also pleaded no contest to one count of driving a stolen car. He was sentenced to one-year of state Department of Corrections commitment and sent to Ethen Allen boys home in Wales, WI.

The driver of the SUV was charged with OWI but was not at fault in the accident.

Dionna Cook (14)
Chonnell Drinker (14)