NewsProject: Drive Safer


Mother of teen killed in reckless driving crash speaks out, demands justice

Posted at 7:13 PM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 20:13:55-04

MILWAUKEE — A mother who lost her son in a reckless driving crash last year is speaking out.

A crowd of heartbroken loved ones gathered Tuesday morning. Each of them held signs depicting 16-year-old Giovanni Florentino, who died in what investigators call a reckless driving crash last November.

"He had so much planned, you know," Giovanni's mother, Bianca Ortiz, said. "He was a good kid."

Investigators say Giovanni and his younger brother were passengers in a stolen car. In a report from the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner, investigators estimate the car reached speeds of at least 80 miles per hour when it hit a tree near 36th and Lincoln. The report states the car split in half. Giovanni and his brother, Sebastian, were thrown from their seats. Thirteen-year-old Sebastian survived.

"He was in ICU. He didn't even know his brother had passed for about a week and a half," said Nely Jimenez, Sebastian's mother. "He didn't wake up for three or four days after the accident. We almost lost him. They resuscitated him back three times."

Ortiz says a juvenile suspect was set to be sentenced Tuesday. The suspect's name and details in this case are kept confidential in Wisconsin's juvenile justice system.

Ortiz says no matter the age of the suspect, she wants justice.

"They need to stop slapping these kids on the wrists for stealing cars," Ortiz said. "I'm scared to drive the street and I know everybody else is scared to drive the street. Something has to be done. We cannot look at this lightly anymore."

TMJ4 News asked Ortiz what she would like to say to the suspect.

"I forgive him," Ortiz said. "But it still hurts. It's not fair. I still want him to be punished."

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