Teen Killed Trying to Stop Friend from Driving Drunk: Family

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Coconut Creek teenager died Saturday night as he tried to stop his drunk friend from getting behind the wheel of a high-performance vehicle. NBC 6's Hank Tester reports.

    A Coconut Creek teen was killed Saturday trying to stop his drunk friend from climbing behind the wheel, the late teen's family said. 

    Joe Ianzano, 19, was clinging to the rear spoiler of his friend's high-performance car when it careened through the bushes and slammed into a palm tree, sending him flying and killing him, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

    "It was a courageous act, but Joey was like that," his grandmother Barbara Ianzano said. "Joey would put himself on the line. He would do things like that. This time, he was too courageous."

    She said her grandson had been trying to block the car, but his friend — whom sources identified as Patricio Javier Arias — managed to get in somehow.

    "Joey [was] saying, 'You can't drive. You can't drive. You are too drunk.' I think he was trying to stop Pat," she said, adding that the driver didn't listen. "He peeled off and took off.”

    After it hit the tree, the car drove across a driveway and hit another three cars before it came to a stop.

    Joe Ianzano was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Ianzano was about to start school to become a firefighter to help save more people. His family said he was a hunter and athlete who loved his big truck and was willing to give his life to do the right thing.

    "I am really sorry that his family had to see this," his friend Cassandra Persaud said. "He did not deserve it, and I loved him a lot." 

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