"Driving Lesson Ends With 2 Deaths
By ELIZABETH LEE BROWN firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: Dec 18, 2004
TOWN 'N COUNTRY - Two brothers died blocks from home Thursday night when one lost control of their father's Acura and slammed the car into a tree in the Countryway subdivision.
The vehicle's passenger side hit the tree with such force that the car nearly wrapped around it. Officials estimated the Acura was going at least 60 mph. The posted speed limit on the residential street is 30 mph.
Family members said driver Danny Duong, 16, was teaching his older brother, Tony Duong, 18, how to drive shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday.
Tony Duong planned to take the written test for his driver's license the next day, his father, Binh Duong, said Friday.
``I just know he was teaching his older brother how to drive. He's very careful,'' Binh Duong said of the younger teen.
Hillsborough County sheriff's investigators said Danny Duong had a learner's permit, which required a licensed driver at least 21 years old be in the car when he was driving. He was speeding southbound on Country Hollow Drive when the car slid sideways on a curve and hit the tree, investigators said.
Deputies cited Danny Duong on two driving violations three months ago. On Sept. 1, a deputy stopped him on Montague Street and wrote a ticket for passing in a curve and for violating restrictions of his learner's permit.
Thursday's crash happened about 50 feet north of Whispering Hollow Drive.
The brothers lived in the Duong family's house a few blocks away, at 11819 Branch Mooring Drive, where they shared a room with bunk beds. A Bruce Lee poster hangs on one wall.
The Duongs, a Chinese and Vietnamese family, planned to move into a new house on Old Memorial Highway this weekend. They moved to Tampa about five years ago from Houston.
Binh Duong said the brothers spent Thursday evening cleaning the new house and were going home for a fried- chicken dinner with their siblings, Julie, 19, Jenny, 14, and Johnny, 13.
He said he rushed home after getting a call from his daughter, Julie, who was crying and telling him to come home.
``When I come over there, I saw my sons' car in the accident, and they said they were both dead,'' he said.
Family members said Danny Duong was studious. He dreamed of being a dentist or an eye surgeon. Tony Duong wanted to get a contractor's license. Both were outgoing and enjoyed football, paint ball and hanging out with friends.
To encourage Tony Duong to get his driver's license, his father bought a black 2005 Subaru STi for his son and planned to give it to him next week.
``That's his dream car,'' Julie Duong said. ``My dad just purchased the car to prove it's here, and if you really want it, then you have to get the license.''
On Friday, friends left flowers and a white cross at the crash site. Tire tracks and shards of glass surrounded the tree.
``Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys. We'll never forget,'' one note read.
Officials at Alonso High School, where Danny Duong was a sophomore and Tony Duong a senior, waited until the end of the day Friday to announce the deaths so they would not disrupt final examinations. Grief counselors were available to talk to students.
In a letter to parents, Alonso Principal Sandy Bunkin wrote that students might not have had a chance to talk to counselors because the announcement was late in the day. There is no school the next two weeks.
She asked parents to contact the district for help if their teens appear troubled."
Am I the only one who thinks the father is kind of an idiot? I mean, thats horrible that his sons were killed, but buying his 18 year old son an STi to encourage him to get a drivers license?? I really don't think an STi is a wise first car for a parent to buy their kid.
...maybe it's better it happened in his father's Acura than in the STi (because it probably would have happened sooner or later)