PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - About 100 people gathered for a vigil and balloon release at Encanto Park Monday for the three victims of a chain-reaction crash caused by a man accused of running a red light in a stolen vehicle.
Montgomery reportedly admitted to smoking marijuana and taking PCP before he took the car.
The crash killed three people: a mom and her two teenagers. Ali Geer, 18, and Almira Geer, 16, were lifeguards at Encanto Park. They were on their way there on Thursday with their mom, Courtney Lomergan, when they were hit in the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Missouri. The Geers were pronounced dead at the scene. Lonergan died at the hospital.
"I think that's what makes it more tragic to me. It was so senseless and avoidable and it shouldn't have happened," said Gina Godbehere, Courtney's friend and co-founder of Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life. "It's tragic because Courtney brought so much enthusiasm and light and color into this world and she did so much good for so many people. She really believed in finding the common values to bring people together and that's what she worked her whole life to do, to be that bridge and offer hope. She will just be missed, this is a loss for all of us."
Phoenix Police say Raymond Montgomery was driving 97 mph down Missouri before the crash. Police say half a second before the collision he was going 78 mph. The posted speed limit on Missouri is 35 mph.
According to court paperwork, Montgomery was helping a woman and her boyfriend move into an apartment at 17th Avenue and Missouri when he became agitated while moving a wooden dresser. Police say he demanded the keys to the U-Haul and started assaulting the man, who then ran away. Montgomery then approached the woman, punched her in the face, and stole her car, police say.
"It's so sad that the reckless acts and choices of one human being--not just the robbery, the speeding, the running the red lights--caused so much devastation and it's a loss for all of them. You try not to be angry at it and I think part of me wants to be angry because it was so senseless, but that's not who Courtney was," Godbehere said. "I think we have to look at, he's going to get justice and he deserves the justice that he gets. We need to embrace Courtney's enthusiasm and positive attitude and look to the future."