Vigil held for 5 crash victims

RIVIERA BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A candlelight vigil began with a moment of silence, and then was followed by tears from dozens of mourners gathered on Blue Heron Boulevard in Riviera Beach.

They came to remember five victims who were killed early Saturday morning, when a Mercedes allegedly ran a red light and slammed into their Lexus.

Monteo Campbell said he's suffering unbearable pain, because he lost his only child, 14-year-old Makita Campbell.

"She was a jokester," Campbell recalled. "Always had a smile on her face."

Makita was the youngest victim. Campbell had spoken with her just an hour before she died.

"I even woke up this morning, looked to see if she was in the bed, just thinking it was a nightmare," he said. "But it's reality now."

The vigil had photos of Makita and four others who were killed, including 22-year-old Orane Cummings, 17-year-old Shonteria Grimsley, 17-year-old Christina Joseph and the driver, 22-year-old Jason Mahlung.

"Too soon, too young, all of them," said Campbell. "All of them were young, young and innocent."

Jason Mahlung's father, Robert, blames 21-year-old Jabari Kemp of Florida City, who troopers said was driving the Mercedes that allegedly ran a red light and rammed into the Lexus. Kemp suffered serious injuries in the crash.

"This guy that killed my son, he cannot replace my son," said Mahlung. "But I know conscience is conscience and guilt is guilt. This guy is going to pay for this."

"I hope the rest of his life, the guilt of taking the five lives that he took, kills him slowly," said Campbell.

Florida Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash, even shutting down Blue Heron Boulevard for three hours on Sunday morning to document evidence.

Grief counselors will be at the teenagers' schools Monday morning. Family members said Shonteria attended Palm Beach Gardens High School, and Makita was a student at John F. Kennedy Middle School.

Investigatos with Florida Highway Patrol don't know if alcohol was a factor, and charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.

At the vigil, all family and friends could do was comfort each other, and remember the five victims who many say were taken too soon.

"I'm not a guy that used to cry, but I'm shedding tears every day, every second. I can't hold back tears," said Mahlung passionately. "It's very tragic. We cannot repair this, we cannot bring back these lives together."